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Funds to help investors with PAN compliance
July, 11th 2007
If you want to invest in mutual funds, but dont have the permanent account number (PAN), theres nothing much to worry about.
 
The mutual fund distributor, coming to you with the investment scheme, will provide you the PAN application form. More importantly, they will also volunteer to submit the form on your behalf.
 
In a bid to meet the Securities and Exchange Board of Indias (Sebi) know-your-customer (KYC) norms, which make it mandatory for all new mutual fund investors to submit the PAN identification number or proof of PAN application with the Income Tax Department, the fund houses such as UTI Mutual Fund are providing the PAN application (Form 49 A) to the investors through the distributors, as they fear drop in their assets.
 
The new Sebi rule came into effect from this month.
 
The fund houses, which have lower distributor base, are also exploring the option of tying up with the bigger players, as they do not want to lose business, especially in the rural areas.
 
Ajay Bagga, CEO, Lotus Mutual fund said, We are looking at some sort of joint mechanism with big fund houses to ensure our presence in remote areas. At present, we have around 4,000 micro systematic investment plan (SIP) account holders, most of whom do not have any PAN identification. We are working with distributors to make available the Form 49A to comply with the new rules.
 
The fund managers fear that their equity funds may dip up to 30 per cent in July, following the implementation of the norms. The two new fund offers (NFOs) Reliance Advanced Equity fund and UTI Lifestyle fund will be the first ones to feel the heat of the new norms.
 
Jaideep Bhattacharya, chief marketing officer, UTI Mutual Fund, said, We have been facing a setback because of the PAN deadline. There will be a migration of investors as some may skip mutual funds and move over to bank deposits and postal insurance.
 
 
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