The much-awaited merger of the Forwards Markets Commission (FMC) - the erstwhile regulator for the commodities market - with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi), was formally announced on Monday, in line with the government’s move to have a unified regulator for equities and commodities markets.
The event was attended by Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, FMC chairman Ramesh Abhishek, Union economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das and a host of senior bankers and industrialists on Monday at Mumbai.
Speaking on the occasion, finance minister Jaitley said that while these are crucial and critical times for India, the country needs to set higher targets. “We have all been seeing the developments on the west coast of the US,” he said while referring to the wide reception and attention that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been getting from top US industries during his visit.
“The world is viewing us more differently. Within India, while we move to unlock value, aspirations are growing. While we are among the fastest growing economies in the world, India today is more aspirational. We will not be satisfied with the 6-8% (economic growth) band,” he added.
The merger has been widely seen as a need to bring in more regulation to a growing markets space. Union economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das said that while the markets are evolving, “the government also has to be alive to all situations.”
“A balance is needed on price stability and policy certainty. Sebi has to ensure that prices do not become volatile and at the same time also see that there is policy certainty,” he added.
Commodities, which include the politically sensitive sector of agriculture, has been a key area for the government as rise in prices of food products fuels dissatisfaction with the government. The government therefore ensures controls and relaxes these norms according to the situation.
In his speech at the beginning of the event, Sebi chairman UK Sinha said that it was a momentous day for India and that it would be in line with developed markets which have similar unified regulators.
Sebi whole time director Rajeev Kumar Agrawal has been entrusted with the task to oversee the regulation of the commodity markets.