After glitches in Version 3 of its MCA21 portal, the corporate affairs ministry has seen a 20 times increase in the number of authenticated users, including company directors and business users, since January 23, government sources said.
A key feature of the new version is to identify the people transacting on its portal by linking each user ID with the person’s permanent account number (PAN), followed by a two-factor authentication through mobiles and email IDs.
Those who cannot complete the KYC requirements cannot use the portal.
Between January 23 and April 12, the number of unique KYC users registered on the portal went up from 30,000 to 600,000.
The government is planning to link these user IDs with the Aadhaar numbers concerned, apart from PANs, in the near-future as part of the KYC requirement.
The director identification number (DIN) is also authenticated through the PAN.
“Many people were creating multiple user ID passwords and transacting on the portal.
"So if we were to issue any show-cause notice it would go to some IP address.
"Now we have the identity of people behind these IDs and it brings greater transparency and accountability,” a senior government official said.
While one user ID can be associated with a PAN, professionals such as chartered accountants and company secretaries are allowed to link or merge multiple IDs using their professional registration numbers.
Version 3 was launched first for limited liability partnerships on March 8 last year. On January 23 this year, the ministry had shifted nearly 56 forms to the new portal, after which many professionals had complained about technical glitches.
Government sources said they were stabilising the system and working to make the portal more user-friendly and resolve issues related to sinking the data on the old portal with the new.
“We have asked L&T Infotech to identify the technical glitches, the data not matching and steps that taken to resolve it online,” the official said.
The ministry said on April 10, there were almost 1,200 applications getting approved on Version 3, which is the highest done in a day.
“Eight hundred-nine hundred companies are being registered every day on the new portal. We have reached almost the same level of Version 2 and most of the issues have been resolved,” the official added.
However, there is concern, including from the Ministry of Home Affairs, about a large number of shell companies being formed and therefore a need is being felt to balance the ease of doing business with a greater level of control.
The MCA is trying to work out how it can control the number of companies that can be registered using one user ID.
It recently found an instance where almost 1,500 companies had been created using one user ID.
The MCA has a limit on the number of audits an auditor can do but no such limit on company registrations exists.
While the government has received a suggestion on putting a cap on the number of companies that can be registered by a user, it could also ask companies to provide geo-locations of offices.
“Companies have to upload a photograph of the office, but in the app we will launch, we can enable the geo-location feature just like it has been done in the PM Awaas Yojana,” the official said.
He said there had been occasions when the investigation officer went to the address provided but no office existed there.
The ministry of corporate affairs is trying to identify alert signals on the portal to report on any unusual activity, such as a sudden increase in assets and the number of registration per user.
After the fix
- Between January 23 and April 12, the number of unique KYC users registered on the MCA Version 3 portal has gone up from 30,000 to 600,000
- The government is also planning to link these user IDs with their Aadhar numbers in the near future and not just PAN as part of the KYC requirement
- Professionals such as chartered accountants and company secretaries are allowed to link or merge multiple IDs using their professional registration number
- Government stabilising the system and working to make the portal more user friendly, say sources
- The MCA, on April 10, said it saw almost 1,200 applications getting approved on Version 3