Modernising infrastructure : SECP committed to meeting international standards

ISLAMABAD: Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Chairman Zafar Hijazi on Tuesday said that the commission was committed to connect the local market with international capital market through modernisation of infrastructure.

“We need to adopt a modern corporate environment and through new laws and regulations to provide conducive corporate environment to investors in the country and ensure transparency and accountability in system,” he said while addressing a press conference.

The SECP chairman, along with his team of commissioners, particularly highlighted the issues of draft Companies Act 2015 and the integration of stock exchanges.

He said the SECP would hold public consultation on the new draft act and submit its final draft to the federal government by April 2016.

Hijazi said after independence, the Companies Act, 1913 was adopted as Company Law of the country, which was replaced by the Companies Ordinance in October 1984.

In order to encourage the growth of industrialisation and promote the corporatisation, the ordinance was amended in 1991, 1999 and 2002, he added.

To meet new challenges in capital market, he said, the commission had decided to constitute a Company Law Review Commission (CLRC) in 2005. It was headed by former Chief Justice of Pakistan Ajmal Mian and some professionals were also included as its members.

He said the SECP in April 2015 decided to constitute an in-house committee headed by a former commissioner for the purpose of reviewing the existing ordinance in light of the developments, which had taken place in various developed jurisdictions.

The committee, he said, completed its assignment within a period of six months and submitted the draft Companies Bill, 2015 to the commission.

“We will conduct seminars and workshops to create awareness among public regarding the New Draft Companies Act 2015 and other regulations,” he said, adding that we need to use new market method and modern technology, which is necessary to meet the modern capital world.”

He said that transparency in market was essential to evolve local market as a regional hub of business and attract international investment.

He said the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) had approved the scheme for merger of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad stock exchanges and the Pakistan Stock Exchange would be inaugurated on January 1, 2016.

After publishing of the scheme in media, the SECP only received two objections, first from the employees of stock exchanges and the other from a lawyer.

The employees’ issues had already been resolved as some were being adjusted in the retaining entities, the Pakistan Stock Exchange and at the SECP while the others would be given the option of golden handshake, he added.

He said the commission would hold a hearing to listen to the concerns of the corporate lawyer about the scheme.

He pointed out that some other people had raised objections, but surprisingly none of them submitted the same in a formal way even after publication of merger scheme in media.


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