The government plans to mandate Aadhaar biometric verification for designated directors, and professionals such as company secretaries involved in filing statutory documents.
Security and accountability
The intention is to tighten security of statutory filings and ensure accountability.
This will apply to those registered as ‘business users’ on the MCA21 website and are authorized to file documents and forms on behalf of companies.
The MCA21 system upgrade is a mission-mode e-governance project of the government.
This requirement will likely be implemented following the completion of the website’s ongoing upgrade later this year.
The current upgrade involves significantly enhancing authentication requirements for filers.
This is done by two methods.
First, by re-engineering the IT system from scratch while retaining the old one.
Second, by gradually introducing new web-based statutory filing forms that enable real-time verification of the existing information when an authorized filer—a business user—inputs data on a new form before submission.
KYC verification for business users
KYC verification is mandatory for business users based on PAN, or Director Identification Numbers (DINs) issued by the ministry or identification numbers from professional institutes such as the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, as well as phone numbers and emails.
This heightened security requirement now applies to most of the over 60 web-based forms rolled out in the third version of the filing portal.
The ministry also intends to introduce approximately 50 additional forms in the coming months, completing the transition to the new corporate statutory filing system.
Aadhaar-based biometric verification
After a seamless transition is made, the ministry plans to add Aadhaar-based biometric verification to the list of identification requirements.
This, along with the existing KYC requirements is expected to bolster authorities’ efforts to combat financial irregularities and money laundering associated with shell companies.
When the ministry introduced 56 new web-based forms for various company filings on 23 January only about 30,000 company directors registered as business users with unique identities.
The figure has now crossed 600,000 which also includes key managerial personnel of companies.
Since only those with unique identities in the system can file forms, it becomes easier for authorities to ensure accountability in corporate disclosures.
One does not need to become a business user of the portal when reserving names for a new company which occurs prior to the entity’s incorporation.
The number of form filings has also increased significantly implying that the new filing system has stabilized.