SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) Chairman UK Sinha has asked the people of Bihar to consider investing in the capital market in equity and mutual funds for better long-term returns.
Investment in mutual funds and equity market was important for the people in their long-term interest as the central government has launched many pension schemes where investors can invest their money for safe and handsome returns over about 20 years after retirement, Mr Sinha said in a seminar in Patna on 26th August.
The mutual fund sector has just 0.42% share of Bihar's investment at Rs. 15.09 billion and only 24 offices, while the number of demat account holders in the state is quite low. There was only one registered share broker, 1,000 terminals of share market in the entire state and only two companies in it listed on the stock exchanges, Mr Sinha added.
He said SEBI recently framed guidelines for creating awareness about investments in mutual funds in semi-urban and rural areas, thereby giving an opportunity to the non-income tax payers in the equity market. The capital market regulator has also proposed steps for propagation of financial literacy among the people to motivate them to invest in equity and venture capital.
On 16th August, SEBI in its board meeting had taken note of the lack of penetration of mutual fund products, inadequate distribution network, need for greater alignment of the interest of various stakeholders, regulation of distributors and issues concerning investor protection, and had approved some immediate steps. SEBI has representatives from the Ministries of Finance and Corporate Affairs and Reserve Bank of India.