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28 lakh NSDL users yet to flash PAN
December, 18th 2006

Around 28 lakh demat accounts with the National Securities Depository (NSDL) are yet to furnish details of their permanent account number (PAN), an NSDL official said. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) deadline for demat account holders to submit PAN card details expires on December 31.

NSDL has around 77 lakh demat accounts registered with it. Of the 28 lakh accounts that are yet to submit (PAN) details, 14 lakh accounts have zero balance (of securities), the official said, adding that it looked doubtful if the beneficiary owners of these accounts would be keen in retaining their accounts.

The remaining 14 lakh are passive accounts, where investors are holding shares, but have not traded in a very long time, the official added, sounding hopeful that a majority of them would furnish the relevant details before expiry of the deadline.

Last week, it was reported that around 2.5 lakh demat account holders, or roughly 12% of the total demat accounts with CDSL, were yet to submit PAN card details. Post the deadline, both CDSL and NSDL will suspend trading in those demat accounts where the beneficiary owners have not furnished PAN details.

These measures are being taken as a part of Sebis regulations to tighten the know your client (KYC) norms following the initial public offer share allotment scam.

The fraud was perpetrated by a handful of stock market operators, who opened multiple accounts under fictitious names to corner the quota of shares in an IPO reserved for retail investors. It was reported last month that October was the first time in this year that the net additions had turned negative for NSDL. This meant that more demat accounts were cancelled than opened.

Sebi, which had earlier set November 1, 06, as the deadline for the existing demat account holders to submit their PAN card details, has subsequently extended the deadline to December 31, 06. As per Sebi guidelines and regulatory requirements, it is mandatory to possess a PAN card number for operating a demat account and for trading in the cash and derivatives segments.

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