Unfazed by criticism that the market regulator acts like 'activist' working against business interests, Sebi Chairman UK Sinha today said it will continue to take steps to build investors' trust which has been hit hard often by manipulation and fraud.
"We take each of our decisions after active consultations (with public and other stakeholders), and take measures after that. But, it hurts when you people call us activists (working) to affect your business," Sinha said here.
Addressing the annual International Convention of ANMI (Association of National Exchanges Members of India), the Sebi chief said the measures that Sebi takes for risk management or investor protection should not be seen as a burden by the entities concerned.
"Whether you like it or not, we have to respond to the needs of the society and we have to be guided in long term growth. So, don't think, we are trying to be activist, as what we are trying to do is to generate a long-term trust in the Indian market," he said.
Sinha noted that developing investor trust and certainty with regard to law and legal position were among the key factors to sustain economic growth in India.
However, the Sebi chairman said that the recent scams and misconduct in the market has eroded investors trust.
He also observed that investors have been losing money as more than two-thirds of the companies that hit the capital market are trading below their issue prices.
Sinha said Sebi has taken several steps with respect to requirements and protection of investors.
These measures include e-IPO, call auction on the opening day of an IPO, disclosure requirements, expansion of investor grievance redressal mechanism, certain obligations on merchant bankers, and simplified advertisement code as well as product labelling for mutual funds.
"Some people may find it very irritating that why Sebi is getting into, for example, labelling of products, but we want sustainable growth in the market and to generate trust in the market," Sinha said.
According to him, these measure have had positive impact in the capital markets.
On enforcement actions, Sinha said regulators across the world "are realising that passing a penalty order against the company is been taken as extra cost of doing business so now more and more penalty is been passed against individuals", and Sebi has been following the same example.
He said: "Last five years, it has been proved within India and outside India that it is no longer situation where it is