The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (“MCA”) had announced Companies Fresh Start Scheme, 2020 (“CFSS Scheme”) and Limited Liability Partnership Settlement Scheme, 2020 (“LLPS Scheme”) in March 2020 to provide companies and Limited Liability Partnerships (“LLPs”) an opportunity to remain compliant by filing pending forms, returns, statements, documents which were required to be filed with the MCA within the stipulated time but could not be filed. Companies and LLPs were allowed to avail benefits under their respective schemes between April 1 – September 30, 2020 by filing all their pending forms under the Companies Act, 2013 (“the Act”) and LLP Act, 2008 respectively.
Recently on September 28, 2020, the MCA has extended the validity of CFSS Scheme and LLPS Scheme by General Circular 30/2020 and 31/2020 respectively, till December 31, 2020 due to the ongoing pandemic. This comes as a major relief for companies and LLPs.
The CFSS Scheme excludes (a) companies against which final notice for striking off u/s 248 of the Companies Act, 2013 has been initiated; (b) companies which have filed an application for strike off; (c) companies amalgamated under a scheme of arrangement or compromise under the Act; (d) companies which have already filed an application for obtaining a dormant status under the Act; (e) vanishing companies defined by the MCA vide a clarification dated January 20, 2010; (f) companies marked for CIRP or liquidation under the Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code, 2016; and (g) filings related to charges (e-forms CHG-1, CHG-4, CHG-8 and CHG-9) and increase in authorized capital (e-form SH-7). The LLPS Scheme excludes the LLPs which have already filed an application for strike off.