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Financial law reform panel gets going
September, 27th 2011

Rewriting of financial sector legislation has gained momentum, with the Financial Sector Legislative Reforms Commission (FSLRC) working groups starting discussions on papers prepared by research committees.

A senior official associated with the process told Business Standard a research group had given its input on insurance and pensions and the FSLRC working group on this area, headed by the former Pension Fund Regulatory and Development Authority chairman, D Swarup, had considered it.

At its next meeting, he said, the group would take up a research report on provident funds and small savings. It is already holding consultation with stakeholders and regulators. C S Rao, former chairman of the Insurance Regulatory and Development Authority, is also a member of this group.

The official said the National Institute of Public Finance and Policy was the institutional advisor for all research work of the FSLRC.

A second working group of the Commission has been set up under P J Nayak, former head of Axis Bank. It is handling work on payment systems. The official said a third group on legal systems had been set up under former Securities Appellate Tribunal chief, C Achuthan. There is a little setback for the time being, due to his death, said the official, and the group would be reconstituted soon.

He said that two other FSLRC working groups would also be set up, on banking and the securities market.

Explaining the process set for rewriting legislation, the official said the research groups would first give their inputs to a working group, after which the latter would discuss it and put in a form to take to the full commission. Then, a draft report will be prepared and put on the website for public discussion. After accommodating reactions from all quarters, the final report would be concretised, he said.

The FSLRC was constituted in March this year to rewrite and harmonise laws on the financial sector, rules and regulations. It is to give its report within 24 months. There are 60-odd enactments and multiple rules and regulations in the sector, many being decades old. A large number of amendments to these Acts over time have increased the ambiguity and complexity of the system.

The aim is to remove ambiguity, regulatory gaps and overlaps among the various laws, making these more coherent and dynamic, and helping cater to the requirements of a large and fast-growing economy, in tune with the changing financial landscape in a connected financial world.

Headed by former judge B N Srikrishna, its other members are former judge Debi Prasad Pal, P J Nayak, K J Udeshi, Y H Malegam, Jayant Varma, M Govinda Rao and Swarup.

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