The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has continued its commitment to safeguarding investors and enhancing the transparency and efficiency of financial markets with its latest amendment to the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Investor Protection and Education Fund) Regulations, 2009. The “Securities and Exchange Board of India (Investor Protection and Education Fund) (Second Amendment) Regulations, 2023” bring significant changes to the existing regulations.
A Step Towards Transparency:
In a move aimed at strengthening investor protection and promoting awareness, SEBI has introduced several key changes through this amendment. The amendment, referred to as the “Second Amendment Regulations, 2023,” is set to improve the utilization and management of the Investor Protection and Education Fund.
Expanded Funding Sources:
One of the notable changes introduced by this amendment is the expansion of funding sources for the Investor Protection and Education Fund. The amendment includes provisions for transferring funds in accordance with specific regulations such as sub-regulation (3) of regulation 61A of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015; clause (f) of sub-regulation (16) of regulation 18 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Real Estate Investment Trusts) Regulations and clause (e) of sub-regulation (6) of regulation 18 of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Infrastructure Investment Trusts) Regulations, 2014. This expansion is a strategic move to ensure that the fund has a broader base of financial support, further reinforcing investor protection.
Refund Mechanism for Entities:
The amendment has also introduced a refund mechanism for entities transferring specified amounts to the fund. This is particularly important for cases where these entities are making payments to eligible and identifiable investors and claim reimbursement from the fund. This mechanism enhances accountability and ensures that investors receive their due compensation efficiently.
To enhance transparency and accountability, the amendment specifies the purposes for which the fund may be utilized. These purposes include:
- Restitution to investors who have suffered losses due to violations of securities laws.
- Rewarding informants who provide original information to help recover amounts directed to be disgorged.
- Refunding entities transferring specified amounts to the fund.
Provided that monies remaining in the Fund after earmarking, –
- The amount for the process of restitution to eligible and identifiable investors credited to the Fund in accordance with clause (h) of sub-regulation (1) of regulation 4; and
- The amount for the refund to the entities transferring the said amounts credited to the Fund in accordance with clauses (j), (k), and (l) of sub-regulation (1) of regulation 4; may be utilized for the purposes of the Fund as specified in sub-regulations (1) and (2)
This clear allocation of fund usage ensures that investors’ interests are at the forefront, and their compensation and protection are prioritized.
Time Limit for Restitution Claims:
The amendment also addresses the issue of time limits for restitution claims. It specifies that no claim for restitution from disgorged amounts in a specific case will be admissible after a period of seven years from the date of the invitation of claims for disgorgement in that case by SEBI. This time limit provides clarity and predictability in the process, ensuring that investors and entities have a clear understanding of the timeline for claims.
SEBI’s “Second Amendment Regulations, 2023” demonstrates a progressive approach to investor protection and fund management. By expanding funding sources, introducing a refund mechanism for entities, and specifying fund usage, SEBI is taking a significant step towards greater transparency and efficiency in the financial market.
These changes underline SEBI’s unwavering commitment to investor protection and education and its dedication to maintaining the integrity and transparency of the Indian securities market. As the financial landscape evolves, SEBI’s regulatory framework continues to adapt and evolve to safeguard the interests of investors and promote a fair and transparent investment environment.
Disclaimer: This article provides general information existing at the time of preparation and we take no responsibility to update it with the subsequent changes in the law. The article is intended as a news update and Affluence Advisory neither assumes nor accepts any responsibility for any loss arising to any person acting or refraining from acting as a result of any material contained in this article. It is recommended that professional advice be taken based on specific facts and circumstances. This article does not substitute the need to refer to the original pronouncement
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