Black money fight: Sebi, Government to update Special Investigation Team on safeguards

Mumbai: Asked to tighten its noose on tax evaders and black money launderers in stock markets, regulator Sebi will consult the government on all necessary steps, including on P-Notes, and update the Supreme Court-appointed Special Investigation Team about the safeguards.

At its board meeting here on Monday, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) took stock of all the checks and balances it has put in place to check such manipulations, sources said.

The board members, which include the nominees from the government and the RBI as also independent members, were also apprised of the action initiated by Sebi against those suspected to be evading taxes and laundering black money through stock markets.

Sebi has barred over 1,000 entities so far in such cases through interim orders, while further proceedings are underway and all these matters have been referred to other agencies including Income Tax Department, Financial Intelligence Unit and the Enforcement Directorate.

While the government and Sebi are of the view that sufficient measures are in place to deal with such cases, further consultations would be held to ascertain whether additional safeguards need to be put in place. The SIT would be informed about the existing measures and additional steps, if any, in this regard, the sources added.

The board discussed the latest SIT report on black money, which among others had suggested last month that further steps might be required to check misuse of P-Notes route to launder unaccounted money from abroad.

In its latest report, the Special Investigation Team on Black Money had suggested that Sebi needs to further strengthen its monitoring mechanism to detect instances of the stock market platform being misused for tax evasion.

It had also suggested Sebi to review its regulations on participatory notes to help identify the end-users of these instruments.

Finance Secretary Rajiv Mehrishi had also said last week that there was no requirement for “much change” in the regulations for Participatory Notes as the existing norms make it ‘almost impossible’ to misuse this route.