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Over 1,500 listed cos yet to appoint women directors

New Delhi: As many as 1,577 listed companies are yet to appoint a woman director on their boards as required by law, the government said On Friday. Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha also informed the Lok Sabha that 24 listed public sector companies do not have a woman director.

Out of the 5,362 listed companies that are required to appoint women directors, only 3,785 entities have complied with the norm, he said, adding that 1,577 listed companies have not appointed a woman director on their boards as on July 27.

Under the new companies law, certain classes of companies are required to have at least one female director on their boards. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has also made it compulsory for listed entities.

With regard to public sector companies that have not complied with the regulation, Sinha said the government is working on the issue and “very soon” the appointments would be made. However, he noted that it would be difficult to give a deadline on the matter.

Noting that the government has not issued any directive to Sebi with respect to appointment of women directors, Sinha said the regulator has prescribed fines for non-compliance.

According to Sebi, listed firms that comply with woman director norm on or after October 1 would have to pay Rs 1,42,000 fine as well as Rs 5,000 penalty per day till date of compliance.

“For any non-compliance beyond September 30, 2015, Sebi may take any other action against the non-compliant companies, their promoters and/or directors or issue such directions in accordance with law, as considered appropriate,” Sinha noted.