Capital markets regulator Securities & Exchange Board of India (Sebi) is considering options to allow people to invest in mutual funds without a PAN (permanent account number) card, made mandatory from July 2. An indication to this effect was given by Sebi chairman M Damodaran while addressing the Confederation of Indian Industrys Mutual Fund Summit 2007 in Mumbai.
The ministry of finance had earlier asked the industry to move from the mutual fund identification number (MIN) to PAN for all transactions. Damodaran said, "Sebi is considering options to allow investors investing in mutual funds without a PAN card, which has a deadline of July 2.
He also asked the Association of Mutual Funds in India (Amfi) to play the role of a self-regulatory organisation, although it would not be outside the purview of the regulator.
The Sebi chairman was also critical of mutual funds for their rush to acquire more assets under management. The MF industry seems to be prematurely patting itself on the back. The question is, who made what sort of growth? The numbers provoke more questions than provide answers, he said.
Stressing the need for more innovative products, Damodaran said liquid funds were not the only way to grow. Something needs to be done to get more types of money into MFs, he said.