Govt to table Bill to amend Sebi Act today

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SummaryThe government will introduce in Parliament on Monday a Bill to amend the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act.

The government will introduce in Parliament on Monday a Bill to amend the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) Act, which would give more powers to the capital markets regulator Sebi.

Finance minister P Chidambaram would introduce a "Bill further to amend the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992, the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 and the Depositories Act, 1996", according to legislative business listed in the Lok Sabha for Monday.

Besides, the minister would lay in the House an explanatory statement showing the reasons for immediate legislation (Securities Laws Amendment Bill, 2013) by promulgation of the securities laws.

Last month, President Pranab Mukherjee had promulgated an ordinance amending the securities law that would provide more powers to the capital market watchdog.

Following the amendments, Sebi would have more powers to crack down on ponzi schemes, seek phone call records to check insider trading and carry out search and seizure operations.

In July, the government had said that promulgation of the ordinance demonstrated its firm commitment and resolve to act with speed and alacrity to curb irregularities and frauds in the securities market.

"The government believes these amendments would give Sebi the legal backing to clamp down on unscrupulous entities that are using newer methods to take gullible investors for a ride," the government had said in an release.

As per the amended law, Sebi can regulate any money pooling scheme worth R100 crore or more and attach assets in cases of non-compliance, it said, adding the Sebi Chairman would have the authority to order "search and seizure operations".

The market watchdog would also have powers to seek information, such as telephone call data records, from any persons or entities in respect to any securities transaction being investigated by it.

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