MCA plans data check to help early detection of corporate fraud

Written by Neha Pal | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 16 2009, 07:32am hrs
For developing an early warning system in order to detect corporate frauds like Satyam, the ministry of corporate affairs is planning to start analysing data available on the MCA 21 portal, which is the e-governance mode for companies.

A senior MCA official told FE, the ministry has started contemplating on the steps that will be undertaken as a part of the early warning system exercise. The ministry is soon going to start the process of analysing the data of companies that is available on the MCA 21 portal as around 9 lakh companies in India file their documents with the help of this portal, the official said.

All the procedures relating to a company right from the registration purpose to the filing of annual returns is done electronically with the help of the MCA 21 portal, which is why it is considered as a useful source for extracting information about any company, the official said.

Streamlining the main focus areas of the ministry, corporate affairs minister, Salman Khursheed had said the early warning system would be one of the major initiatives that would be taken up by the ministry for averting corporate frauds like Satyam.

As part of the early warning system exercise, the government is also planning to scrutinise the quarterly financial reports filed by listed companies with the stock exchanges. The ministry would also be looking at the option of seeking information on the initial public offerings to find out whether the funds have been used for the purposes that have been declared in the prospectus.

The e-governance project, MCA 21, was introduced in the year 2006 to enable all companies and their professionals to file their statutory documents online to the Registrar of Companies (ROC). It also enabled the registrars to maintain the documents in e-form instead of physical and hard copies. This project is technologically advanced and also saves a lot of time of the companies, which initially used to go waste in loads of paperwork.

The MCA-21 project is a public-private partnership project of the government in which Tata Consultancy Services is the private player and also the partner. The e-governance regime is intended to provide for easy operation for filing and access to corporate data over the Internet to all stakeholders, on round the clock basis.