Mumbai: India’s market regulator has asked stock exchanges to fine listed firms that have not appointed a woman director on their boards before the 31 March deadline.

Companies that missed the deadline but appoint a woman director before 30 June will have to 50,000 as fine, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) instructed on Wednesday.

Firms that does so between 1 July and 30 September will have to pay 50,000 plus Rs1,000 a day from 1 July to the date of compliance.

Companies that comply with the norm after 1 October will have to pay 1.42 lakh along with a fine of 5,000 a day from 1 October till the date of compliance.

On 17 April last year, Sebi had ordered all listed firms to have an optimum combination of executive and non-executive directors with at least one woman director. On 15 September, the timeline to comply with the norm was extended to 31 March 2015.

There are 168 companies without a woman director out of 1,484 companies listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) that are covered by indianboards.com, a website that has a database on directors in India.

On 31 March, 180 NSE-listed companies did not have a woman director on their boards, according to Prime Database, a capital market tracker. Of these, at least 32 public sector firms did not have any woman director.

On 1 April, about 832 women have been appointed to 912 directorship positions in 872 companies, according to Prime Database. Citing these records, Press Trust of India had reported on 6 April that of the 872 companies, 43 companies already had a woman on the board before the Sebi guideline was announced but appointed a second woman director on their board. Of the remaining 829 firms that complied with Sebi’s norms, 278 did so in March.

Sebi has said it will take further action on firms that remain non-compliant after 30 September.

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