19 lakh demat accounts worth Rs 63k cr frozen

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New Delhi, Mar 14 (UNI) A whopping 18.67 lakh demat accounts having securities valuation of Rs 62,731 crore are frozen as investors have not disclosed their identity through permanent account number (PAN).

In a written reply in the Lok Sabha today, Minister of State for Finance Pawan Kumar Bansal said while 15.25 lakh demat accounts worth Rs 51,750 crore are with the country's leading depsoitory- National Securities Depository Limited(NSDL), the remaining 3.42 lakh accounts with securities value of Rs 10,981 crore were registered with Central Depository Services (India) Limited(CSDL).

These demat accounts of investors were frozen last year after they failed to fulfil the 'know-your-customer' or client norms.

However, after NSDL and CSDL issued a warning threatening to level penal charges every month if investors failed to furnish details of their identification in the form of PAN, lakhs of demat accounts were defrozen.

Replying to a question by Mr Avinash Rai Khanna, BJP MP from Hoshiarpur, the Minister said 24.84 lakh demat accounts worth Rs 6,03,916 crore had been defrozen between January 1, 2007 and March 8, 2008. Of this, 22.19 lakh accounts worth Rs 4,51,000 crore were registered with the NSDL and the remaining 2.65 lakh accounts valued at Rs 1,52,916 crore with CSDL.

Of the demats accounts lying frozen with NSDL till March 8, the highest number of 2,00,548 are from Maharasthra, followed by 1,66,005 from Tamil Nadu, 1,55,271 from West Bengal, 1,50,357 in Andhra Pradesh and 1,38,301 in Gujarat, the Minister added.

With so many investors having declined to come forward to disclose their identity, it is understood that some of these accounts could well have been 'benami'.

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