President clears re-promulgation of Sebi ordinance

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President Pranab Mukherjee has cleared re-promulgation of SEBI ordinance which provides powers for Sebi Chairman to authorise Investigating Authority or any other officer of the regulator to conduct search and seizure under the Sebi Act and crack down on Ponzi schemes.

"President Pranab Mukherjee has cleared the re-promulgation of the Sebi ordinance," a top government official said.

The ordinance had lapsed on January 15, since Parliament could not pass the Securities Laws (Amendment) Bill 2013 in the Winter session.

After that Finance Ministry has sought opinion of the Law Ministry on the possibility of re-promulgation of SEBI ordinance for the third time as it could not be passed by Parliament.

The Ordinance amending the Securities Laws was promulgated by President Pranab Mukherjee on July 18, 2013 after the Cabinet gave its approval to amend the SEBI Act, 1992 to give Sebi additional powers. It was re-promulgated on September 16.

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 and its Chairman can order "search and seizure operations."

It also empowers the market watchdog 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 amendments would clear the air over regulatory gaps and overlaps with regard to types of instruments used in raising funds.

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