More work requires on Corporate Governance: SEBI's Sinha

March 21, 2014 

Public authorities such as Sebi were under increased scrutiny due to rising shareholder activism, U.K. Sinha said at a conference, adding that the regulator was working to add more teeth to its oversight.

The area of corporate governance remains an issue in India and more work needs to be done to improve standards, Upendra Kumar Sinha, chairman of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) said Friday.

“Shareholders are increasingly becoming more active and corporate authority is being challenged,” he said, adding that public authorities, including SEBI, were facing “comprehensive evaluation”.

“SEBI is trying to follow the primary legal mandate of investor protection. Our enforcement actions are due to close scrutiny and feedback from stakeholders,” Sinha said, and said more work was required in the field of surveillance.

The regulator, for instance, currently does not have the power to call for phone taps in its efforts to tackle white-collar crime.

The SEBI chief was delivering the opening address at an M&A conference held in Mumbai by the International Bar Association.

Corporate governance has been in the news of late, with the expected implementation of the new Companies Act (from April) being seen as a major revamp for laws relating to corporate governance.

Sinha admitted that more 1000 small companies were not filing mandatory disclosures on time and that the regulator was working with exchanges to enhance compliance.

He added that inter-regulatory mechanisms would improve in the years to come and said many problems arising from friction between different regulators would be ironed out if the recommendations of the Srikishna committee (Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission), which among other things, proposed creating a “super regulator”, were implemented.