Coronavirus (Covid-19)

Corporate Law Amendments

(Companies, Directors and Shareholders)

Due to the lockdown enforced by the Government as a measure to curb the effects of the virus, the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan has provided regulatory relief to dilute the social impact of Covid-19 on companies and their day to day functioning along with compliance with the corporate statutory requirement.

SECP has relaxed the requirement of Regulated Persons (Securities Brokers, Future Brokers, Insurers, Takaful Operators, NBFCs and Modarabas) relating to Submission of quarterly information under Directive 55(I)/2020 where Quarterly information submission for the First Quarter of 2020 is extended until May 31st, 2020.  Further, a relaxation in relation to compliance with certain requirements of the NBFC Regulations, 2008 which include the extension of the time period by 30 days till May 31st 2020 for Quarterly Financial Statements of Open End Scheme and Close End Scheme and the time to ensure compliance with minimum fund size for Open End Schemes is increased to 180 days for currently non-compliant schemes.

A lot of emphasis have been made by the SECP to ensure listed companies modify their planning for AGM’s such that video link facilities or electronic means are utilized for the purpose of quorum and to avoid large gatherings at one place. SECP advises companies to prioritize public safety whilst ensuring regulatory compliance and that it shall give due consideration to all underlying circumstances when enforcing regulatory compliance. SECP has granted an extension of 30 days for companies to hold an AGM for the year ended December 31, 2019. The revised deadline for holding an AGM for the year ended December 31, 2019 is May 31, 2020.  The SECP has also, vide Circular No. 6, directed companies whose elections are due before or in the said AGM to file impediment reports with the concerned registrar citing the reasons for the delay in holding the election of directors.

With regards to the obligation to file statutory returns with the CRO, insofar as any statutory return is to be filed on or after March 24, 2020, the SECP has offered relaxation so that the same may be filed with the delay of thirty (30) days of occurrence of any event without any additional filing fee and no penal action shall be taken for such late filing.

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