The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) is planning to introduce staggered deadlines for the submission of compliance documents, said a senior government official.
The move is aimed at addressing overburdening of the MCA portal servers during the peak filing season, which often leads to glitches or slows down the portal. Currently, companies and limited liability partnerships (LLPs) have the same filing deadline, due to which the servers receive huge traffic in the last one-two weeks before the filing deadline.
The MCA now wants to divide the companies and LLPs into four or five subsets, with each having a separate filing deadline. This plan is akin to some of the deadlines under goods and services tax where certain kinds of filings, such as the submission of GSTR-3B quarterly filings, come with varying deadlines depending on the region of the taxpaying entity.
"The MCA will definitely increase the portal's server capacity over the period, but one also needs to look at its utility. During non-peak seasons, it doesn't witness any major traffic and the current capacity is more than enough," said the official. "So, instead, we can regulate the traffic by setting different deadlines for different regions. There will be around four-five different regions across the country."
The development assumes significance as the number of new companies and LLPs incorporated in India has increased massively over the last three years. As of September 2022, there are nearly 1.5 million active companies and around 2,50,000 active LLPs, according to latest MCA data. In the last three years, nearly 2,40,000 new companies have come into existence. This has increased the number of MCA filings as well.
The ministry has received grievances from several stakeholders regarding the portal glitches, including from compliance professionals such as company secretaries and chartered accountants. For instance, the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and Institute of Company Secretaries of India made representations to the MCA in late October seeking extension for the AOC-4 form filings, citing technical glitches in the MCA portal. Many professionals have also expressed grievances on social media platforms.
"Many of the companies and professionals choose to do their filings in the last week before the deadline, leading to abnormal surge in the portal traffic during the peak season. This should be avoided," the official said. "Depending on the increase in the traffic, the MCA will take a call on transitioning to a cloud server system which will allow a large increase in the capacity."