The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (hereinafter referred to as “MCA”) has rolled out a circular having number 09/2023 on September 25, 2023, in order to provide clarification on convening shareholder meetings i.e., Annual General Meeting (AGM) and Extra Ordinary General Meeting (EGM) through Video Conferencing (VC) or other Audio-Visual Means (OAVM). The MCA has allowed the companies to conduct their AGMs (whose AGMs are due in the year 2023 or 2024) and EGMs through VC or OAVM on or before September 30, 2024, in accordance with the requirements laid down in Para 3 and Para 4 of the General Circular No. 20/2020 dated May 05, 2020. Earlier, the companies were allowed to convene their AGMs (which are due in the year 2023) and EGM on or before September 30, 2023. The MCA has also clarified that the general circular shall not be constructed as conferring any extension of the statutory timeline for holding AGMs by the companies under the Companies Act, 2013.
This proactive measure by the ministry has presented numerous benefits to the shareholders, contributing to the ease of business operations. The ministry has, for the first time in the year 2020, marked the initiation of virtual shareholder meetings, which have been increasingly adopted by the companies. In recent times, a lot of companies have taken advantage of this progressive initiative. This initiative has proven advantageous, particularly for companies engaging with foreign investors, simplifying the scheduling of shareholder meetings that previously posed challenges for companies involving international shareholders.