Sebi gets more teeth against ponzi schemes

Sebi gets more teeth against ponzi schemes

The government on Thursday gave widespread powers to market regulator Sebi to crack down on ponzi schemes, access phone call records to check insider trading and carry out search and seizure operations.

The ordinance amending the Securities Laws was promulgated by President Pranab Mukherjee within a day of the Union Cabinet approving the proposal to give more powers to Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).

"The government believes that these amendments would give Sebi the legal backing to clamp down on unscrupulous entities that are using newer methods to take gullible investors for a ride," an official statement said.

"The promulgation of the ordinance demonstrates the firm commitment and resolve of the government to act with speed and alacrity to curb irregularities and frauds in securities market," it said.

As per the amended law, Sebi can regulate any money pooling scheme worth Rs 100 crore or more and attach assets in cases of non-compliance, it said: The Sebi chairman will have the authority to order "search and seizure operations".

The market watchdog, the statement said, will now have powers to seek information, such as telephone call data records, from any persons or entities in respect to any securities transaction being investigated by it. The government Wednesday  approved a proposal to amend the securities law and empower Sebi.

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