Bhubaneswar: In a major relief to depositors duped by ponzi schemes, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) on Saturday said its new powers would help in recovery of money from the fraudulent firms and return them to the investors. "Through the new ordinance, SEBI can search and seize ponzi companies besides recovering their properties and returning it to the investors," SEBI Chairman UK Sinha told a national seminar on 'Investors Education and Protection for Inclusive Growth' in Bhubaneswar.
Stating that the regulator was determined to comedown heavily on ponzi companies, Sinha said "SEBI has taken several initiatives to protect the interests of the common investors". Consequent upon the recent amendments, SEBI has been empowered to initiate stringent action against unauthorised chit funds and other financial agencies running a business violating rules and regulations, Sinha said.
In a major upgrade of powers given to SEBI, the government has allowed it to pass orders like search and seizure, attachment of properties, arrest and detention of defaulters and pass disgorgement directions to recover the wrongful gains made in contravention of laws. As per amended law, Sebi can regulate any money pooling scheme worth Rs 100 crore or more and attach assets in cases of non-compliance.
Inaugurating the seminar, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik laid emphasis on the needs to safeguard the money of the investors through strict regulations and education. He asked the banks to open more branches in rural areas to enable to villagers to deposit their hard-earned money in banks and post offices, instead of parking them in illegal companies.
"Since SEBI has opened a local office in Bhubaneswar, investors will get the opportunity to redress their grievance and get educated to help inclusive growth," Patnaik said. Ashishkumar Chauhan, MD & CEO, BSE Ltd, Mumbai said: "Small investors can be converted into large investors for which a congenial atmosphere and proper investment platform in the capital market are necessary."
Addressing the meet, SN Ananthasubramanian, President, Council of Institute of Company Secretaries of India said it has been conducting similar programmes across the country through its regional and chapter offices. He said ICSI has been associated with Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs for organising such programmes across the country. This would help pool the fund of investors for inclusive growth, he said.