In the wake of the prevailing COVID-19 situation and given the magnitude and the extent of its spread, the corporate sector is 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 Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”) 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. upto June 30, 2020.
As a part of disaster management to meet this urgent and severe health exigency, all companies and limited liability partnerships (“LLPs”) are expected and have been strongly advised to put in place an immediate plan to implement the ‘Work from Home’ policy as a temporary measure till March 31, 2020, subsequent to which, the position will be reviewed by the appropriate authorities as per the evolving situation. Advisories to this effect have been issued in various states in India. All companies and LLPs have been 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 should be filed so as to minimize physical interaction. Apart from that, the other preventive measures, including ‘Dos and Don’ts’ advised by public health authorities may be strictly followed.
In order to generate greater awareness and confidence in the state of readiness, the MCA is in the process of developing and deploying a simple web form for companies and 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 and LLPs. The web form will be deployed on March 23, 2020. All companies and LLPs have been requested to report compliance using the above mentioned web service on March 23, 2020.