The Parliament passed a new companies bill on Tuesday, which will replace the current Companies Act that has been in force since its enactment 27 years ago.

The bill was passed with an overwhelming majority of 53 members for and one against, and will now be sent to the President for ratification.

The legislation contains 248 articles while the 1996 act contains 101 articles. It sets out the rules for incorporation, registration, operation and dissolution of companies in the Maldives, in addition to providing applicable rules and provisions.

Once the legislation comes into force, the Companies Act of 1996 will be repealed and companies will have one year to comply with the new law.

The new legislation was introduced by the Maldivian Democratic Party (MDP) Member of Parliament (MP) for Dhuvaafaru, Ismail Ahmed, on behalf of the previous administration.