The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) was officially appointed as the authority for regulating the financial markets in India on 12th April 1988. It was initially established as a non-statutory body, i.e. it had no control over anything but later in 1992, it was declared an autonomous body with statutory powers. SEBI plays an important role in regulating the securities market of India. Thereby it is important to know the purpose and objective of SEBI.
|Table of Contents|
|Why was SEBI formed?|
|Role of SEBI|
|Functions of SEBI|
|Objectives of SEBI|
|Organizational Structure of SEBI|
|Powers of SEBI|
|Mutual Fund Regulations by SEBI|
Why was SEBI formed?
At the end of the 1970s and during 1980s, capital markets were emerging as the new sensation among the individuals of India. Many malpractices started taking place such as unofficial self- styled merchant bankers, unofficial private placements, rigging of prices, non-adherence of provisions of the Companies Act, violation of rules and regulations of stock exchanges, delay in delivery of shares, price rigging, etc.
Due to these malpractices, people started losing confidence in the stock market. The government felt a sudden need to set up an authority to regulate the working and reduce these malpractices. As a result, the Government came up with the establishment of SEBI.
Role of SEBI
SEBI acts as a watchdog for all the capital market participants and its main purpose is to provide such an environment for the financial market enthusiasts that facilitate efficient and smooth working of the securities market.
To make this happen, it ensures that the three main participants of the financial market are taken care of, i.e. issuers of securities, investor, and financial intermediaries.
Issuers of securities
These are entities in the corporate field that raise funds from various sources in the market. SEBI makes sure that they get a healthy and transparent environment for their needs.
Investors are the ones who keep the markets active. SEBI is responsible for maintaining an environment that is free from malpractices to restore the confidence of general public who invest their hard earned money in the markets.
These are the people who act as middlemen between the issuers and investors. They make the financial transactions smooth and safe.
Functions of SEBI:
SEBI primarily has three functions-
- Protective Function
- Regulatory Function
- Development Function
As the name suggests, these functions are performed by SEBI to protect the interest of investors and other financial participants.
- Checking price rigging
- Prevent insider trading
- Promote fair practices
- Create awareness among investors
- Prohibit fraudulent and unfair trade practices
These functions are basically performed to keep a check on the functioning of the business in the financial markets.
These functions include-
- Designing guidelines and code of conduct for the proper functioning of financial intermediaries and corporate.
- Regulation of takeover of companies
- Conducting inquiries and audit of exchanges
- Registration of brokers, sub-brokers, merchant bankers etc.
- Levying of fees
- Performing and exercising powers
- Register and regulate credit rating agency
SEBI performs certain development functions also that include but they are not limited to-
- Imparting training to intermediaries
- Promotion of fair trading and reduction of malpractices
- Carry out research work
- Encouraging self-regulating organizations
- Buy-sell mutual funds directly from AMC through a broker
Objectives of SEBI:
SEBI has following objectives-
- Protection to the investors
The primary objective of SEBI is to protect the interest of people in the stock market and provide a healthy environment for them.
- Prevention of malpractices
This was the reason why SEBI was formed. Among the main objectives, preventing malpractices is one of them.
- Fair and proper functioning
SEBI is responsible for the orderly functioning of the capital markets and keeps a close check over the activities of the financial intermediaries such as brokers, sub-brokers, etc.
Organizational Structure of SEBI:
The SEBI Board consist of nine members-
- One Chairman appointed by the Government of India
- Two members who are officers from Union Finance Ministry
- One member from Reserve Bank of India
- Five members appointed by the Union Government of India
Powers of SEBI:
When it comes to stock exchanges, SEBI has the power to regulate and approve any laws related to functions in the stock exchanges.
It has the powers to access the books of records and accounts for all the stock exchanges and it can arrange for periodical checks and returns into the workings of the stock exchanges.
It can also conduct hearings and pass judgments if there are any malpractices detected on the stock exchanges.
When it comes to the treatment of companies, it has the power to get companies listed and de-listed from any stock exchange in the country.
It has the power to completely regulate all aspects of insider trading and announce penalties and expulsions if a company is caught doing something unethical.
It can also make companies list their shares in more than one stock exchange if they see that it will be beneficial to investors.
Coming to investor protection, SEBI has the power to draft legal rules to ensure the protection of the general public.
It also has the power to regulate the registration of brokers and other middlemen who will deal with investors in the market.
Mutual Fund Regulations by SEBI:
SEBI has also made few policies and laid down guidelines for the mutual funds in order to safeguard the interests of the investors.
These guidelines have been laid to bring uniformity in the working of the similar mutual funds’ scheme which will help the investors to make their investment decisions more clearly.
To bring uniformity in the functionality of the similar mutual fund scheme, SEBI has categorised mutual funds in the five broad categories:
Solution Oriented Schemes
Other SEBI guidelines for Mutual Funds are as follow:
- SEBI has reclassified large, mid and small-cap companies as follows:
1st to 100th company in terms of full market capitalization.
101st to 250th company in terms of full market capitalization.
251st company onwards in terms of full market capitalization
- There is a lock-in period specified for solution-oriented schemes
- Permission of only one scheme in each category, except for Index Funds/ Exchange Traded Funds (ETF), Sectoral/Thematic Funds and Funds of Funds.