Assocham to help companies meet norms on women directors

To help companies meet norms on appointment of women directors to their boards, Assocham plans to train them in various aspects of corporate governance and equip them to take up leadership roles, PTI reported.

According to the industry body, it expected to train around 3,000 women over the next three years, the report said.

Under the Companies Act, 2013, every listed firm and every public company with a paid-up share capital of Rs100 crore and above or turnover of Rs300 crore should appoint at least one woman director.

According to Assocham National Council Corporate Affairs chairperson Preeti Malhotra, the provisions would require corporates to start identifying independent directors and women directors to join their boards within a stipulated time frame.

She added, women needed to utilise this time period to train themselves before they assumed new responsibilities as directors.

The gap between the new requirements and the number of independent directors available presented a huge opportunity for those aspiring to become directors, she added.

Additionally, certain classes of corporates were required to have at least two independent directors on their respective boards.

The rule would apply to public companies with paid up share capital of Rs10 crore and those where their aggregate "outstanding loans, debentures and deposits" exceeded Rs50 crore, according to the notification dated 27 March.

With regard to independent directors also, the vacancies would need to be filled up at the earliest - not later than the next board meeting or three months from the date of the post falling vacant.

With a view to make it easy for corporates to choose the independent directors, a government authorised agency would maintain a database of "persons willing and eligible to be appointed as independent director".

The data base, to be placed on the corporate affairs ministry's website, would have details  about potential candidates including their qualifications, experience and whether they faced any legal proceedings.