Rajya Sabha passed the Companies (Amendment) Bill, 2016. The Standing Committee on Finance had examined the Bill and submitted its report on December 7, 2016. In April 2017, the government circulated certain amendments to the Bill. A comparison of the 2016 Bill and the amendments brought in by the government can be found here.
During the debate, members raised their concern about independent directors being allowed up to 10% pecuniary interest in the company. Members felt there could possibly be a conflict of interest in such regard. It was also pointed out that clarity on several aspects of the Bill has been left to delegated legislation.
The Indian Institutes of Management Bill was also taken up in the Upper House. It declares 20 existing IIMs as institutions of national importance and confers on them the power to grant degrees. To know more about the bill you can watch our video here. Members participating in the debate raised their concerns about several issues such as the need to promote research, shortage of faculty, the overall quality of management institutions, among others.
The Central Road Fund (Amendment) Bill was also taken up by the Lower House. The Bill amends the Central Road Fund Act, 2000. The Act regulates the Central Road Fund (CRF), that is credited with the cess collected on high-speed diesel oil and petrol. This collected amount is then released to National Highways Authority of India, and to the state/union territory governments for the development of national and state highways. The Bill seeks to allocate a share of this cess towards the development of inland waterways.
Both houses were sitting at the time of sending this report.