SECP Policy Board Approves Several Amendments

On the recommendation of the Regulations Committee, the Policy Board of Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) gave approval to several proposed amendments in the SECP Act, 1997, Public Sector Companies (Corporate Governance) Rules, 2013, NCCPL Regulations as well as the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) Rules Book.

The Policy Board, which met under the Chairmanship of Professor Khalid Mirza, also approved other matters recommended by the Regulations Committee, according to a press release.

The Board reviewed the implementation status of the decisions made over the last three meetings which included a substantial reduction in fees and removal of annual renewal of intermediary licenses for the ‘ease of doing business.

It was noted that the Commission had not executed the instructions of the Board in an expeditious manner which is cause for concern.

Concern was also expressed with regards to the Commission’s perceived excessive involvement with law enforcement agencies.

As for the number of Board decisions pending implementation, Professor Khalid Mirza emphasized the need to take effective measures expeditiously in line with the policy directives.

He envisioned that if the Commission faithfully works alongside the Board, the Commission will be transformed into an effective and market-friendly regulator, and the capital market will be put on a path of sustainable development within a year or so.

It hoped that within three or four years, the goal of a viable capital market would be achieved.

Similarly, the Oversight Committee of the Board gave its recommendations pertaining to the surveillance software of the Commission, regulatory powers for imposing penalties for market malpractices without going to court, disclosure of non-compliance/misconduct by brokers, empowering the SECP to tackle issues of financial crime without having to resort to other law enforcement agencies and other matters.

All these were agreed to by the Board.

Chairman SECP Professor Khalid Mirza said that the Board is focusing on the lackluster insurance industry and disclosed that the Board has favored a risk-based supervision approach where high-risk insurers are treated separately from the low-risk insurers.

He was of the view that capacity building and basic insurance training on a regular basis is conducted. The Insurance Committee of the Board also recommended certain measures including removal of sales tax provisions for facilitating insurance business which were agreed to by the Board.