In the absence of any systematic records it is difficult to trace the gradual evolution of the joint-stock companies in Amravati district. As elsewhere they appear to have developed out of the partnership or proprietary type of concerns. The latter, as a matter of fact, required a good deal of capital, not easy for a single individual to supply. Credit, too, was not obtainable unless complete security could be provided to the creditor. Partnership was even worse form than this, for it depended only on a smooth co-ordination amongst the members concerned. The joint-stock companies, as they exist today, therefore, came up as a more suitable form of business organisation through which instability in business could be reduced to a great extent.

In Amravati district there are two types of joint-stock companies: the private companies and the public companies. The Companies Act of 1956 described the former as one which restricts the right to transfer its share, if any, limits the number of its members to fifty and prohibits any invitation to the public to subscribe for any shares in, or debentures of, the company. The Act further lays down that " no company, association or partnership consisting of more than 20 persons shall be formed for the purpose of carrying on any other business that has for its object the acquisition of gain by the company, association or partnership, or by the individual members, thereof, unless it is registered as a company". Registration, thus, was made compulsory for these companies.

By 1958, there were thirty-six registered private limited com-panies in Amravati district. Most of them were small undertakings. Their work was considerably facilitated when the principle of limited liability was extended to them. A classi- fication or these companies according to the nature of their operations showed that of the 36 joint-stock companies, 15 com- panics were working in the field of agriculture, six were trans- port undertakings, three were manufacturing, two general trading and eight were producing motion pictures.

The capital requirements of these companies do not appear to be large. In 1958, the aggregate authorised capital of these companies was Rs. 1,09,63,000 while the paid-up capital amounted to Rs. 47,31.349. In addition the reserves of the companies amounting to Rs. 1,06,489 also formed a substantial part of their capital. These companies raise capital by way of floating non-transferable shares and debentures. The amount involved in the debentures issued stood at Rs. 25,76,124. These companies, however, pay a rate of interest higher than the one paid by public limited companies with a view to attracting capital.