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Over 2.5 lakh demat a/c holders yet to submit PAN
December, 06th 2006

With less than one month left for the deadline, over 2.5 lakh demat account holders have not submitted their PAN card details. The figure is from the Central Depository Services (India) (CDSL) alone and represents about 12% of the total active demat accounts with the depository.

Sebi, which had earlier set November 1, 2006, as the deadline for the existing demat account holders to submit their PAN card details, has subsequently extended the deadline to December 31, 2006. 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.

Even though the figures from NSDL are not available, industry sources estimate that in absolute terms, the number could be significantly higher than that of CDSL. NSDL has around 77 lakh active demat acounts. Demat account holders who do not submit their PAN card details will not be able to operate their accounts from January 1, 2007. This rule would be applicable to all demat account holders, including minors, trusts, foreign corporate bodies, banks, corporate bodies, FIIs and NRIs. In the case of joint account, both account holders should have PAN cards.

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.

Out of about 21 lakh active demat accounts, over 2.5 lakh account holders have not submitted their PAN card details, a senior CDSL official said. Till the time PAN card is submitted (after the deadline expires), these account holders will not be allowed to trade. So far, we have not thought of penalising any demat holder in case of non-submission, but we might consider this at a later stage, he said. CDSL is asking its depository participants to publicise the issue.

DPs have been asked to display posters and pamphlets provided by NSDL in this regard prominently at each of their offices from where the depository services are being provided by them. DPs may also make their clients aware about this requirement by disseminating similar information alongwith their mailers or through their website, etc, the official said.
 
According to him, the existing demat account holders would have to submit a copy of the PAN card along with the original for verification to the DP. Then the name of the demat account holder would be compared with the name appearing on the website of the Income Tax department and clarification would be sought from the account holder if there is any mismatch.

He said that no request for those having the PAN allotment letter would be entertained and only PAN card would be accepted.

At the same time, the stock exchanges and depositories are planning to hold an advertising campaign for creating investor education regarding the last date for submitting PAN cards by the beneficial owners of the demat accounts. The campaign would be released in print and electronic media for four consecutive days from December 15 as per the information available.

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