Action against auditors: Sebi chief says no question of ‘turf wars’

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Published: December 5, 2019 1:25:59 AM

In 2018, the regulator banned Price Waterhouse for two years from auditing any listed firm for its role in the Satyam scam.

But the audit firm had successfully challenged the same in SAT and got the order quashed. Later, the SC stayed a SAT order which had held that Sebi does not have the power to bar auditors.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has approved initial public offerings (IPOs) of over Rs 20,000 crore and another 10-11 worth Rs 15,000 crore are in the pipeline. Speaking at the AIBI Annual Summit 2019, Sebi chairman Ajay Tyagi also said divestment by the government would further give impetus to the new IPOs.

“In 2017-18, the IPOs did really well and in 2018-19 there was a problem. In the first half of this year, there has again been a problem. The second half is a much better story. Going forward, what we feel is if the disinvestment by the government comes in, they will be crowding other investors and they will be giving confidence,” he said.

He also said audit firms are important gatekeepers and need to be held accountable for faulty audits. In 2018, the regulator banned Price Waterhouse for two years from auditing any listed firm for its role in the Satyam scam. But the audit firm had successfully challenged the same in SAT and got the order quashed. Later, the SC stayed a SAT order which had held that Sebi does not have the power to bar auditors.

“Our position is very simple if they are auditing listed companies based on which investors are investing, and if we find that that work has not been done properly and in investors’ interest, some audit firms should not be allowed to audit,” he said.

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