Mumbai: To widen the participation of shareholders in company decisions, the market regulator Sebi on Friday asked top 500 listed firms to provide e-voting facility to their shareholders from October onwards.
The regulator said it has been the endeavour of the government to provide wider participation of shareholders in decisions of companies through electronic voting (e-voting) process.
Former finance minister Pranab Mukherjee in his Budget for 2012-13 had also advocated e-voting facilities, besides existing process for shareholder voting.
Sebi said that in order to widen the participation in important proposals it has been decided to “mandate” the listed companies to enable e-voting facility also to their shareholders, in respect of those businesses which are transacted through postal ballot of listed companies.
“To begin with, this requirement shall be applicable to top 500 listed entities at BSE and NSE, chosen based on the market capitalisation computed as on the date (today),” it said in a circular.
The Sebi’s decision is applicable for the shareholders’ meetings, for which notices are issued from 1 October.
However, the listed companies are at liberty to provide e-voting facility to their shareholders at earlier dates also.
Sebi further said the concerned listed companies should choose any one of the agencies, which are currently providing e-voting platform for this purpose.
At present, both the depositories -- Central Depository Services (India) Ltd and National Securities Depository Ltd - are providing e-voting platform.
Currently listed companies conduct businesses by way of postal ballot. Sebi said a postal ballot also includes voting by electronic mode.