A Historical Perspective of the Securities Market Reforms in India
His Excellency Mr. Mohammad Fazal, Governor of Maharastra, Sir Howard Davies, Director of the London School of Economics and Political Science, distinguished colleagues, friends from press, and ladies and gentlemen, good evening to all of you.
First, the Appetiser
Let me start with a very innocuous question: Which is the most televised structure in India? I am told that a study has revealed that it is not the Rastrapati Bhawan or Parliament House; it is not the Taj Mahal; it is not even the abode of Lord Tirupati; it is the Pheroze Jeejeebhoy Towers which houses the oldest securities market participant in India, i.e. The Stock Exchange, Mumbai. This indicates our intimate relationship with the securities market. In today’s rational world, it really means the immense contribution of the securities market to the our life and economy.
I took charge as Chairman, SEBI about two years ago. During my initial days of explorations for understanding the organization and the market, I was faced with a set of questions: Which is the most reformed sector / segment / market in the Indian economy? Which sector / segment / market of the economy has witnessed as much as nine special legislative interventions during the last decade? Which market / segment / sector acquired the first ever autonomous regulator (which in course time became the model regulator) in India? Which sector / segment / market of the economy consumes 3/4th space of the pink newspapers everyday? Which sector / segment / market of the economy most promptly reflects the feel good factor? The answer to all these questions is the securities market. It expresses the significance of the securities market in our life.
Now a few figures to illustrate the importance of the securities market in our life. While the corporates and governments raise resources from the securities market to meet their obligations and / or make investments, the households...