The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has decided to extend the deadline for the mandatory requirement of submitting a Permanent Account Number (PAN) card for opening a demat account till December 31, 2006.
The earlier deadline was on September 30, 2006. Sebi said that, in the light of the practical difficulties expressed by various market participants in adhering to the present deadline the decision of extending the deadline has been taken as a one-time measure.
This assumes significance as Sebi had made it very clear that entities without PAN card will not be allowed to trade in cash market in the event of non-submission of PAN card. However, this one time relaxation will be a sigh of relief for those who are already trading in the market (existing clients of the broker) as they can still trade in the cash market for another three months period, but for the brokers new clients it will be mandatory to submit the PAN card before they commence trading.
Following Sebi setting the deadline of September 30, market participants had made further representations, suggestions and sought clarifications on the various issues from the Sebi.
Some of the clarifications sought included; exemption from the requirement of verification with the original PAN card in respect of the institutional clients as some of the brokers have expressed difficulty in verifying the PAN of institutional clients with the original PAN card as they are dealing through the custodians and not directly with institutional clients.
Some of the investors represented to Sebi seeking exemption for the joint account holders from the mandatory requirement of PAN, Sebi said. It also received requests from various market participants for extending the present deadline as some of the beneficiary owners (BOs) have PAN but not the PAN card, many others have PAN allotment letter and have applied for the duplicate PAN card as earlier PAN card was reportedly not issued by the Income-Tax (I-T) department. Many investors have applied for PAN but have not received the same. While in case of many investors, PAN has been captured, but verification is in process.
Sebi has however rejected the request made by the brokers to provide for a grace period of 30 days, to allow them to trade in cash market, as earlier given by the Sebi while setting the deadline of September 30, 2006 for mandatory PAN requirement.
Sebi had earlier said those Sebi registered entities who are facing some difficulties in producing PAN card for verification at the time of opening the BO (demat) account, may be permitted to open such BO accounts without producing the PAN card.
However, such entities would be required to submit the PAN card to the depository participants (DPs) within a period of 30 days from the date of opening of the BO account for verification, failing which the DPs shall freeze such accounts as Suspended for Debit till such time the PAN card is produced for verification.