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Damodaran against fixing entry-level qualification for co directors

Written by: Staff
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Mumbai, June 29 (UNI) The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) Chief M Damodaran today disfavoured against prescribing any formal educational qualification as the minimum entry level criteria for ''independent'' directors under the Clause 49 of the Listing Rules.

Mr Damodaran said, ''More than the basic qualification for occupying board positions, it is their mental ability of the candidate by asking 'tough' questions seeking to improve governance levels in Corporates what matters most.'' He was speaking after the launch of BSE's corporate e-filing system 'ICERS' - Indian Corporate Electronic Reporting System.

Referring to critics who termed that SEBI was focussing on the arithmetic of the Clause 49 and not on the content of it, Mr Damodaran said, ''The arithmetic aspect was only a starting point and in that aspect Clause 49 is only a means to an end and not end by itself.'' The market regulator said SEBI did focus on the arithmetic aspect of the new regulation, knowing that the implementation of the new regulation can't be achieved in its entirety at one go. ''We focussed on the Arithmetic aspect of Clause 49 in the first phase.

Having achieved that as a fact of life, we want to now focus on the content aspect in the second phase.'' Being himself not ''very very educated,'' Mr Damodaran said SEBI seeks to focus on the mental ability of the candidates -- in the sense ability to add value to the corporate governance.

Replying to a question, Mr Damodaran said the commodity futures and physical settlement of the same will be one among many other issues being listed among the agenda at the forthcoming Board meeting to be held on July 7 this year.

Responding to a query on the proposal to levy higher fees for the services it renders, Mr Damodaran said, ''SEBI is not getting any budgetary support from the Centre. As such, we need to find self-financing avenue for the services we offer.'' In this context, he pointed out unlike many organisations, SEBI does not hike the fees every now and then. Besides, he continued, that ''these fee structures were fixed in 1997-98 and inflation in the last seven years itself is close to 80 per cent and hence the need to revisit the fee structure.'' Meanwhile, BSE today launched ICERS, which is an internet-based corporate friendly application that enables dissemination of information seamlessly from the point of origin to the point of display on BSE website in the shortest possible time.

Currently, companies will be able to e-file all corporate announcements and financial results. The application will be enhanced to cover all other compliance related filings by companies listed on BSE.

UNI SN MJ/KU AG2111

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