Finance Minister P. Chidambaram today said he looks forward to seeing the number of retail investors increasing from 1.6 crore at present to 15 crore.
Addressing the 20th anniversary celebrations of the National Stock Exchange of India Ltd (NSE), the nation's largest bourse and one of the top five in the world, P. Chidambaram also said, "Standards set by NSE are a benchmark not only to other exchanges but to all the capital markets across the world."
There is an urgent need to increase retail participation and I look forward to seeing the number of demat account holders grow from 1.6 crore to 15 crore, P. Chidambaram said.
NSE Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Chitra Ramakrishna said over the past two decades, the exchange has lived up to expectations with which it was launched.
"For the NSE to have had the opportunity to be an instrument of reform, if NSE has claimed its space amongst the top few exchanges in the world, a lot of that credit will go to the reform process, visionaries in the industry, Sebi and other regulatory bodies, stakeholders, market participants, many of whom are present today, and the list is long," she said.
She said the domestic market has lofty goals as it becomes a gateway to the Asian region and the best in the world, but admitted this path is paved with challenges.
"It requires us to be competitive, whether it is in ease of doing business or forms of doing business, reforms like the FSLRC (Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission) create the platform for the next wave of changes," Ramakrishna said.
Securities & Exchange Board of India (Sebi) Chairman U K Sinha congratulated NSE for its achievements.
"NSE is a symbol of confident India, ready to take up all the challenges that emerging global economies are going to pose to us," he said.
NSE Vice Chairman Ravi Narain said, "Our chosen strategy was high standards of governance, transparency and innovation through technology. NSE brought a new business model and governance model, enthusiasm and the ability to take risks, but above all, with a sense of purpose."
Former NSE chairman S B Mathur, former Sebi chairmen G N Bajpai and M Damodaran, SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya, BSE Chief Ashish Chauhan (who is an ex-NSE personnel), HDFC chief Deepak Parekh and Godrej Group Chairman Adi Godrej were among those present.
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Finance Minister P Chidambaram