ibnlive » Business

Sep 07, 2006 at 08:02pm IST

E-filing of forms still distant dream

New Delhi: Rahul Jain is a practicing Company Secretary. He has been visiting the help desk at a facilitation center set by Tata Consultancy Services to file forms since the center was launched in April.

The help desk familiarises chartered accountants and company secretaries with e-filing of forms related to company matters, but Rahul says paperless transactions - which should have cut down his workload - do not seem to be helping any.

The facilitation center was a part of the MCA-21 Project of the Ministry of Company Affairs, which aims at putting all business processes and services of the office of Registrar of Companies on the e-governance mode.

However, the Rs 345 crore project is facing serious problems and with the September 16 deadline for e-filing just around the corner, the ministry's dream of paperless transactions seem to be crashing.

"We have to go to ROC at least twice a week, so no cut in the workload has really happened. The idea is good but the spirit of the idea is still not there," says Rahul Jain.

The portal of Ministry of Company Affairs facilitates e-filing. About 2.8 million people visit the website everyday and yet most find it user unfriendly.

With the deadline of September 16 to submit most forms in e-format along with a digital signature drawing, those using the e-filing format are a troubled lot.

Says a Chartered Accountant, Ashish Makhija, "Most of the forms which need revision have not been revised, only the version of the form has been changed and that too on a day to day basis without any notice. This leaves scope for a lot of problems."

So the problem is not only the need to have more user friendly forms, users also complain that Directors Identification Number, which is expected to curb the vanishing companies, is not sacrosanct.

While the intentions of the Ministry of Company Affairs is on the right path, better compliance of company law is still a long way off.