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SEBI (Securities Exchange Board of India)

In 1988 the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) was established by the Government of India through an executive resolution, and was subsequently upgraded as a fully autonomous body (a statutory Board) in the year 1992 with the passing of the Securities and Exchange Board of India Act (SEBI Act) on 30th January 1992. In place of Government Control, a statutory and autonomous regulatory board with defined responsibilities, to cover both development & regulation of the market, and independent powers have been set up. Paradoxically this is a positive outcome of the Securities Scam of 1990-91.

The basic objectives of the Board were identified as:

  • To protect the interests of investors in securities;
  • To promote the development of Securities Market;
  • To regulate the securities market and
  • For matters connected therewith or incidental there to.

Since its inception SEBI has been working targetting the securities and is attending to the fulfillment of its objectives with commendable zeal and dexterity. The improvements in the securities markets like capitalization requirements, margining, establishment of clearing corporations etc. reduced the risk of credit and also reduced the market.

SEBI has introduced the comprehensive regulatory measures, prescribed registration norms, the eligibility criteria, the code of obligations and the code of conduct for different intermediaries like, bankers to issue, merchant bankers, brokers and sub-brokers, registrars, portfolio managers, credit rating agencies, underwriters and others. It has framed bye-laws, risk identification and risk management systems for Clearing houses of stock exchanges, surveillance system etc. which has made dealing in securities both safe and transparent to the end investor.

Another significant event is the approval of trading in stock indices (like S&P CNX Nifty & Sensex) in 2000. A market Index is a convenient and effective product because of the following reasons:

  • It acts as a barometer for market behavior;
  • It is used to benchmark portfolio performance;
  • It is used in derivative instruments like index futures and index options;
  • It can be used for passive fund management as in case of Index Funds.

Two broad approaches of SEBI is to integrate the securities market at the national level, and also to diversify the trading products, so that there is an increase in number of traders including banks, financial institutions, insurance companies, mutual funds, primary dealers etc. to transact through the Exchanges. In this context the introduction of derivatives trading through Indian Stock Exchanges permitted by SEBI in 2000 AD is a real landmark.

SEBI appointed the L. C. Gupta Committee in 1998 to recommend the regulatory framework for derivatives trading and suggest bye-laws for Regulation and Control of Trading and Settlement of Derivatives Contracts. The Board of SEBI in its meeting held on May 11, 1998 accepted the recommendations of the committee and approved the phased introduction of derivatives trading in India beginning with Stock Index Futures. The Board also approved the "Suggestive Bye-laws" as recommended by the Dr LC Gupta Committee for Regulation and Control of Trading and Settlement of Derivatives Contracts.

SEBI then appointed the J. R. Verma Committee to recommend Risk Containment Measures (RCM) in the Indian Stock Index Futures Market. The report was submitted in november 1998.

However the Securities Contracts (Regulation) Act, 1956 (SCRA) required amendment to include "derivatives" in the definition of securities to enable SEBI to introduce trading in derivatives. The necessary amendment was then carried out by the Government in 1999. The Securities Laws (Amendment) Bill, 1999 was introduced. In December 1999 the new framework was approved.

Derivatives have been accorded the status of `Securities'. The ban imposed on trading in derivatives in 1969 under a notification issued by the Central Government was revoked. Thereafter SEBI formulated the necessary regulations/bye-laws and intimated the Stock Exchanges in the year 2000. The derivative trading started in India at NSE in 2000 and BSE started trading in the year 2001.

SEBI - SEBI Administration

The Securities and Exchange Board of India Act, 1992 is having retrospective effect and is deemed to have come into force on January 30, 1992. Relatively a brief act containing 35 sections, the SEBI Act governs all the Stock Exchanges and the Securities Transactions in India.

A Board by the name of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) was constituted under the SEBI Act to amminister its provisions. It consists of one Chairman and five members.

One each from the department of Finance and Law of the Central Government, one from the Reserve Bank of India and two other persons and having its head office in Bombay and regional offices in Delhi, Calcutta and Madras.

The Central Government reserves the right to terminate the services of the Chairman or any member of the Board. The Board decides questions in the meeting by majority vote with the Chairman having a second or casting vote.

Section 11 of the SEBI Act provides that to protect the interest of investors in securities and to promote the development of and to regulate the securities market by such measures, it is the duty of the Board. It has given power to the Board to regulate the business in Stock Exchanges, register and regulate the working of stock brokers, sub-brokers, share transfer agents, bankers to an issue, trustees of trust deeds, registrars to an issue, merchant bankers, underwriters, portfolio managers, investment advisers, etc., also to register and regulate the working of collective investment schemes including mutual funds, to prohibit fraudulent and unfair trade practices and insider trading, to regulate take-overs, to conduct enquiries and audits of the stock exchanges, etc.

All the stock brokers, sub-brokers, share transfer agents, bankers to an issue, trustees of trust deed, registrars to an issue, merchant bankers, underwriters, portfolio managers, investment advisers and such other intermediary who may be associated with the Securities Markets are to register with the Board under the provisions of the Act, under Section 12 of the Sebi Act. The Board has the power to suspend or cancel such registration. The Board is bound by the directions vested by the Central Government from time to time on questions of policy and the Central Government reserves the right to supersede the Board. The Board is also obliged to submit a report to the Central Government each year, giving true and full account of its activities, policies and programmes. Any one of the aggrieved by the Board's decision is entitled to appeal to the Central Government.


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