As we all are aware, the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has affected over 110 countries, including India. Given the magnitude and the extent of its spread, the WHO has declared it a Pandemic. Apart from human suffering, it is also causing major economic disruptions. In order to deal with this public health situation, the corporate sector would be required to play a key role in implementing the strategic policy decision of social distancing, which is most crucial for reducing the rate and extent of the disease transmission at community level.
Taking cognizance of the gravity of the public health situation, the Government in the Ministry of Corporate Affairs has relaxed the rules with respect to meetings of Board and dispensed with the necessity of holding physical meetings on matters relating to approval of financial statements, board report, restructuring etc. up to 30th June, 2020. We are also examining any other relaxations under the Companies Act, 2013, that may be necessitated on account of COVID-19.
Since Companies/ Limited Liability Partnerships are major employers, especially in urban areas, their full participation and cooperation is most essential to fully realize the object of social distancing as a means to contain the spread, morbidity and mortality due to the disease. As part of disaster management to meet this urgent and severe health exigency, all companies/ LLPs are expected and strongly advised to put in place an immediate plan to implement the “Work from home” policy as a temporary measure till 31st March, 2020, after which the position will be reviewed by the appropriate authorities as per the evolving situation. All companies /LLPs are advised to implement the “Work from home” policy in their headquarters and field offices to the maximum extent possible, including by conduct of meetings through video conference or other electronic/ telephonic/ computerized means. Further, even with the essential staff on duty, staggered timings may be followed so as to minimize physical interaction. Apart from that, the other preventive measures, including ‘Dos & Don’ts advised by public health authorities may be strictly followed.
In order to generate greater awareness and confidence on our state of readiness, the Ministry of Corporate Affairs is in the process of developing and deploying a simple web form for companies/ LLPs to confirm their readiness to deal with the COVID-19 threat. The web form named CAR (Company Affirmation of Readiness towards COVID-19) should be filed by an authorized signatory of Companies & LLPs. CAR-2020 shall be deployed on the 23rd of March, 2020. All companies/LLPs are requested to report compliance using the above mentioned web service on the 23rd instant. I sincerely hope that you will take all possible precautionary measures at your end to meet this public health situation and contribute to containing the disease and minimizing its contagious effect.