Initiate next generation reforms to improve ease of doing business: Sitharaman tells Sebi

NEW DELHI: Finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday asked Sebi to initiate the next generation reforms to improve the ease of doing business and also be prepared to deal with possible market turbulence in the wake of actions by the US Federal Reserve.
Addressing the board of Sebi, Sitharaman appreciated the initiatives taken by the regulator and emphasised the need to take further steps to reduce compliance burden, cost of market intermediation apart from more measures to strengthen investor protection.
She also asked the watchdog to further boost the corporate bond market and also develop green bond market in the context of increasing focus on ESG (Environment, Social and Governance) investments.
Sebi has to “initiate next generation of reforms to improve ease of doing business and be prepared for the possible market turbulence on account of US Fed actions,” Sitharaman said.
The minister’s remarks come against the backdrop of the Federal Reserve deciding to tighten its monetary policy after a long period of easy money regime and its actions could impact fund flows into emerging markets, including India.
Sitharaman addressed the board of Sebi in the national capital on Wednesday for the first time after the presentation of the Budget on February 1, according to a release. Sebi chairman Ajay Tyagi briefed the minister about the major trends and outlook for Indian securities market, including fund raising activities and increased participation of individual investors.
He also apprised the finance minister about the status of implementation of last year’s Union Budget proposals pertaining to the capital market.
Further, Tyagi highlighted the enhanced activity of fund raising through capital market to support the overarching objective of Union Budget towards capital formation in the economy.
After the presentation of the Budget every year, it is customary for the finance minister to address the boards of Sebi and RBI.
Anand Mohan Bajaj, Additional Secretary at Department of Economic Affairs; M Rajeshwar Rao, Deputy Governor at Reserve Bank of India; K V R Murty, Joint Secretary at Ministry of Corporate Affairs and V Ravi Anshuman, Professor at Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, attended the meeting.
Whole Time Members of Sebi — S K Mohanty and Ananta Barua — and other senior officials of the regulator were also present at the meeting.

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