Trustees will have more say on investments

 The government,  on Monday, introduced a legislation in the Lok Sabha empowering the trustees with greater autonomy to take decision on investment of trust money.

The Indian Trusts (Amendment) Bill, 2009 seeks to provide “greater autonomy and flexibility” to trustees to decide on mode of investment of trust money based on their assessment of the risk return tradeoff.

Besides, it seeks to empower the government to notify a class of securities for the purpose of investing trust money. The Bill also seeks to do away with the existing practice of requirement of case to case approval by the government of the investment decision of the trustees.  The government also introduced another legislation to increase the upper age limit of the members of the Securities Appellate Tribunal (SAT) from 62 years to 65 years. The Securities & Exchange Board of India (Amendment) Bill, 2009 seeks to effect increase in age limit of the members of the SAT.

Sebi Act
The SAT was set up under the Sebi Act, 1992 to adjudicate upon appeals against the decisions of the Sebi. The upper age limit for the Presiding Officer and Members of the SAT is 68 and 62 years respectively.

Normally, retiring or retired officers of the level of additional Secretary or Secretary to the government are the applicants for the post of members to the tribunal and they are on the verge of completing or have completed 60 years of age at time of selection.

Thus with stipulated 62 years of age for Tribunal members, a maximum of two years or service is available for such officers.

In addition the selection process is time consuming and as a consequence on an average tribunal member holds office for about 12 to 18 months only, the objective of the Bill said.

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