From Subrata Roy's Sahara Group to sundry SMS scams, 2013 turns into year of empowerment for Sebi

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To help it bring to book fraudsters and other market manipulators, Sebi was also conferred with greater powers. (AP) To help it bring to book fraudsters and other market manipulators, Sebi was also conferred with greater powers. (AP)
SummarySebi played its role as watchdog guarding investors' interests to the hilt in 2013.

said, Sebi is taking actions to ensure regular disclosure about key developments.

"Although listing agreement provides for a number of things, but our information was that a big number of companies were not complying with it," Sinha said.

The new norms also provides for small investors remaining insulated while any action is taken against non-compliant companies.

"What it means is that there is a routine practice currently going on that if some company is violating requirements of listing agreement, then the trading would be suspended. That was the thing being done.

"But we came to the conclusion that this is going against the interest of the shareholders. So, the new procedure says that there would be a penalty on the promoters, penalty on others who may be in violation and then there will be stoppage of trading in promoter shares, and as a last resort, we will go for the suspension of overall trading," he said.

Besides, Sebi has also sought to improve quality of compliance by listed companies.

"If quality of the compliance is not good enough, then we have asked the exchanges to strengthen their departments of compliance and send us exception reports based on which we would initiate action. These are the measures we have taken on corporate governance," he said.

According to Sinha, the new Companies Act has also brought in a new dimension and a lot of clarity from corporate governance point of view. On its part, Sebi is also gearing up to put in place a new corporate governance code for listed companies.

Besides, Sebi took many initiatives to strengthen the framework for investor grievance redressal.

"For example, earlier the redressal for grievance between broker and a client used to take place at 4 centres in the country. This has been extended to 16 centres.

"The grievance redressal panel also earlier used to be predominantly made of brokers and in many cases it was 100 per cent dominated by brokers. Now, we have ensured that the panel is neutral -- from a broker driven panel we have made it a neutral panel.

"Then we have provided that in case a reward is given by the panel against the broker and the broker is getting into an appeal, a portion of the award will still be paid to the investor. So, the investor would not have to wait for the entire appeal process to be over and he would be compensated in the meantime by way

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