Sebi to embark on transparency drive

Sebi to embark on transparency drive

New Delhi: Market regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has decided to embark on a transparency drive with an aim to make its functions as transparent as possible.

As part of the proposed move, Sebi will make public all the prosecution cases undertaken so far in the interest of the markets and investors and might consider revealing even some of its ongoing probes, depending on their sensibility.

The proposed moves, which also include appointment of a chief information officer, are being seen as part of a new operating environment being ushered in by U. K. Sinha, who succeeded C. B. Bhave as Sebi chairman in February this year.

In the past, Sebi has faced the flak for being surrounded in a veil of secrecy, which has been often defended in the name of possible misuse of the information by vested parties.

Sebi generally does not make public its ongoing probes on the ground that the investigations could be jeopardized by interest parties.

However, regulators in the US and some other countries generally issue a public statement even at the time of launch of their investigations.

Besides, Sebi has also decided to appoint a CIO for maintenance and dissemination of all information from it.

The regulator has been told by its board of directors, which includes nominees from the central government, that it needs to appoint a CIO for proper information dissemination.

The board also suggested Sebi to develop a strategic action plan for a period of 3-5 years as against the current practice of such plans being framed for one financial year.

A longer-period strategic action plan would help the regulator maintain better business continuity and transparency in its various functions in the interest of investors and the markets, sources said.

Besides, the Sebi has been asked to undertake necessary measures for securing its data and those of market entities from possible cyber attacks and to maintain its business continuity.

The board has also suggested further strengthening of Sebi’s various regional offices, as against previously proposed attempts to centralize most of its functions.

On its proposed move to make public as many prosecution cases as possible, Sebi recently uploaded on its websites lists of various kind of cases.

These include cases dismissed in the prosecution, cases that resulted in convictions, prosecution cases launched against Collective Investment Scheme entities, cases where accused was declared as proclaimed offenders and cases that resulted in compounding.

These lists are of cases till 31 March 2011 and Sebi intends to add many more such lists in the coming days.