HindustanTimes Sun,21 Dec 2014

Cabinet clears bill to empower Sebi to deal with ponzi schemes

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, July 25, 2014
First Published: 00:17 IST(25/7/2014) | Last Updated: 08:01 IST(25/7/2014)

The Narendra Modi-led Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs on Thursday approved the bill to empower market watchdog Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to crack down on ponzi schemes and investment frauds.

The Securities Laws (Amendment) Bill will be introduced during the ongoing session of Lok Sabha.

Once the amendment, approved by the CCEA, is passed by Parliament, Sebi would get the requisite powers to deal with economic offences of serious nature.

But top sources in the government told HT that contrary to some media speculations, the Bill may dilute some provisions of the related ordinance, which was brought by the UPA government.

The ordinance, according to a senior official, has already lapsed and the new Bill may be sent to the parliamentary standing committee on finance for its scrutiny.

The ordinance, promulgated thrice, had given Sebi sweeping powers like attachment of properties, launch of recovery proceedings, seeking call data records to investigate cases and ordering search and seizure against manipulators and fraudsters.

A section of the government was of the view that the Sebi’s sweeping powers through the Ordiance, particularly its authority to conduct search and seizure operations, should be watered down. There were murmurs in the NDA camp that the Ordinance was brought by the UPA managers largely to target a specific industrialist, who has vast business empire particularly in Uttar Pradesh.

Sources in the government added that some more bills will be taken up during the session.

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