Reflecting growing interest among individuals to float firms, nearly 4,000 one-person companies were registered in the country last fiscal, a 75 per cent jump from the year-ago level, Parliament was informed on Friday. The concept of one person companies (OPCs), introduced in the Companies Act, 2013, primarily benefits entrepreneurs and facilitates easier access to funding sources through an institutional establishment.
During 2015-16, a total of 3,912 one-person companies were registered in the country, against 2,233 such firms in the preceding fiscal, Minister of State for Corporate Affairs Arjun Ram Meghwal informed the Lok Sabha. Besides, a total of 149 foreign companies were registered in the country last fiscal as compared to 157 in 2014-15. Over the last five fiscals (2011-12 to 2015-16), 918 foreign companies got registered in India.
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The number of foreign companies registered in the country stood at 4,357 at the end of the last fiscal as against 3,439 as on March 31, 2011. There was no foreign firm categorised as vanishing company in the last two years. Vanishing companies are those that failed to file statutory returns with the Registrar of Companies and stock exchanges for two years. Besides, the companies and their directors are not traceable.
Replying to a query on the steps taken by the government to prevent registration of vanishing companies, the minister said the Companies Act mandates that an individual must possess Director Identification Number (DIN), which is allotted on verification of ID and address proof, to become director of the company.
Further, it requires physical verification of registered office address of company. The total number of new firms registered in India during 2015-16 stood at 84,481, the minister noted. In a separate reply, Meghwal said his ministry has utilised Rs 4.40 crore out of Rs 4.50 crore alloted for investor education last fiscal under the Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF).
The ministry organises investors awareness programmes in association with three institutes — Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, Institute of Company Secretaries of India, Institute of Cost Accountants of India and Common Service Centres (CSC) — both in urban and rural areas.