Sebi to fix strict enforcement timelines focus on refund

New Delhi: To rein in defaulters and safeguard investors’ interest, capital markets regulator Sebi has decided to fix ‘strict timelines’ for completing its enforcement actions and ensuring fast-track refund of money collected fraudulently from the investors. 

Outlining its focus area for the current financial year, Sebi said that it would be “streamlining the enforcement process by focusing on reducing delays, laying strict timelines for completion of actions, putting in place efficient follow-up mechanisms, creating a central database of enforcement actions and monitoring systems”. 

Besides, Sebi has begun focusing on developing capabilities to effectively utilise the additional enforcement powers given to it by the government last year, through amendments to the securities laws. 

“The focus in this regard would be to enforce Sebi orders imposing monetary penalties and directions for disgorgement and refund of money by using the newly vested recovery powers. 

“The effective enforcement of orders by recovering unpaid penalties along with the provision for filing criminal prosecution before special courts set up to hear only securities laws related matters, will serve as a deterrent and improve the quality of enforcement actions initiated by Sebi,” the regulator said in its action plan for the current fiscal. 

Under the new powers, Sebi can pass orders for attachment and freezing of assets, arrest the defaulters and initiate recovery procedures, while it can also pass disgorgement orders to ensure refund of money back to the investors. 

In the previous fiscal 2014-15, Sebi took many policy initiatives announced by the government in its budget proposals announced in July last year. The new measures are aimed at taking further action in line with the fresh proposals announced in this year’s budget. 

These initiatives are in line with the three mandated statutory objectives of Sebi, that is protecting the interests of investors in securities market and promoting the development of and regulating the securities market. 

“The major thrust of these policy initiatives was on enhanced investor awareness and education, spreading reach to investors and enhancing investor confidence through effective market surveillance and maintaining high standards of integrity, fairness, skills and diligence among the market intermediaries,” Sebi said. 

In the current financial year also, Sebi’s priority would be to achieve its mandated statutory objectives through various policy initiatives targeted towards investor protection, market development and effective regulation.

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