The Hindu

Retail investors acting like shock absorbers in stock market: Nirmala Sitharaman

Amid continuing volatility in the stock market, Union Minister for Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman on Tuesday, June 7, 2022, said retail investors seem to act as shock absorbers even when foreign portfolio investors went away.

Ms. Sitharaman, who was speaking at the event to flag off Iconic Day celebrations of the Corporate Affairs Ministry as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM) said, that during the pandemic, there has been a very significant increase in retail investor numbers.

“Retail investors have come in a big way that they seem to act like shock absorbers… if FPIs went away, our markets did not really have to show their ups and downs in a very distinct way because small investors in the country have come in a big way,” she said.

Six crore Demat accounts
In March, the Central Depository Services (India) Ltd said the number of active Demat accounts opened with it touched the six crore mark.

In recent months, the stock market has been witnessing significant volatility and foreign portfolio investors going on a selling spree amid tightening monetary policy actions to curb rising inflation and geopolitical tensions.

‘Prevent misuse of technologies
The Finance Minister further said regulators and other entities should be well advanced and ahead of the curve in understanding digitisation to ensure that there is no misuse of technologies.

Ms. Sitharaman also emphasised the need to have firewall mechanisms in the context of digitisation.

The decade from 2020 and upwards will be infused with digital methods, she added.

Ms. Sitharaman was speaking at the event to flag off Iconic Day celebrations of the Corporate Affairs Ministry as part of the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav (AKAM).

According to her, the Competition Commission of India (CCI) and National Financial Reporting Authority (NFRA) should be ahead of the curve in the context of digitisation to ensure fair and accountable practices as well as there is no misuse of technologies.

Corporate Affairs Secretary Rajesh Verma said the ministry will be coming out with various tools, including for compliance management, and emphasised its focus on technology-driven platforms to facilitate ease of doing business.

Various measures have been taken in the last eight years to ease the compliance burden, he noted.

Minister of State for Corporate Affairs Rao Inderjit Singh also addressed the event.

At the event, the National CSR Exchange Portal was launched.

Among others, a commemorative postal stamp on investor awareness was released and a special window for those 75 years and above with respect to claims was launched by IEPFA.

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