New Delhi: Finance Minister P Chidambaram on Friday discussed with market regulator Sebi the future agenda for growth of capital markets, as also steps needed for simplified KYC norms for foreign investors.
After a meeting between Sebi board members and Chidambaram, Securities and Exchange Board of India Chairman U K Sinha told reporters that the Finance Minister has emphasised on the need for the regulator to be alert on various issues concerning the capital markets, including the technology related challenges.
Sinha said the Chidambaram addressed the Sebi board which made a presentation to the Finance Minister regarding various steps taken by the regulatory authority, as also about its future agenda.
The issues discussed also included simplified set of KYC norms for foreign investors and various new offices being opened by the regulator in different parts of the country for the benefit of the markets and investors.
With regard to the ongoing probe into a crash in some midcap stocks recently, Sinha said that the investigations are continuing and Sebi has collected some data in this regard.
Sebi chief said that the information collected so far is not conclusive in nature and the probe would take some more time.
"But, we want to assure everyone that we are acting very fast whenever there are attempts for market manipulations," Sinha said.
Sebi Chairman said that Finance Minister also expressed satisfaction over various steps being taken by the regulator for the capital markets.
According to Sinha, Chidambaram expressed satisfaction on various measures by Sebi including 25 per cent public shareholding norm.
Further, Sinha said that the Finance Minister has assured that PSUs would follow the minimum public shareholding norms.
He said the market regulator is planning to open more offices across the country. "We also told him (Finance Minister) of our plans to reach out to various parts of the country. For example Sebi has been opening new offices in the last two years," he said.
"There is a plan to open more and more offices," he added.
On the subject of Know Your Customer (KYC) norms, the Chairman said that process is on to make the norms simpler for the investors.
"We will be able to do it (KYC norms) in a manner that both domestic and foreign investors find that investment are becoming easier in the country," he said.
Sinha further said Sebi would not "compromise on the KYC part in the sense that any risk will not be allowed to take place and also ensure how we can make it more simple," The process is on and very shortly Sebi will be announcing that, he said.
Further, Sinha informed that the Chandrasekhar Committee which working on guidelines for foreign investors would be holding a meeting on March 19.
"Chandrasekhar Committee is already working on all avenues of FII inflows into the country. One meeting (of the panel) has already happened, the second meeting is on March 19," he said.
Responding to question on Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme, he told reporters that Sebi is ready on its part.
"If you read it (the budget document) clearly the changes have to be made by the government...It is more of a tax issue," he said.
With regard to the midcap crash in July last year where shares of certain companies had fallen in the range of 20-26 per cent, the Sebi Chairman said that it is still under probe and will take more time.
"We have acted fast...It will take a little more time. let me assure that if there is any attempt by anybody for manipulation we will act very fast," he said.