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Arun Jaitley flags merger of watchdogs for equities, commodity futures

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Mumbai: Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday rang the symbolic opening bell to mark the merger of two market watchdogs, the Forward Markets Commission for commodity futures with the Securities and Exchange Board of India, at a function here. While the commodities futures regulator was set up in 1953, the stock and debt markets regulator was set up in 1988 as a non-statutory body and later became an autonomous and fully-independent institution in 1992.

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“This merger indicates how the size of our markets have grown and how India has now become more aspirational,” Jaitley said at the function at the Trident hotel in downtown Mumbai.

“It also reflects how sectoral challenges have changed.” The finance minister said India had to continue to change, evolve and reform. “Our nation is no longer satisfied with 6-8 percent band of growth,” he said, adding that this had become even more compelling since the world today was looking at India differently with much expectation.

SEBI chairman U.K. Sinha said the priority post the merger would be to develop trust in India’s commodities market. “All steps will be taken to develop the market,” he said. Jaitley had indicated an early merger of the watchdogs in his budget speech earlier this year.

“I also propose to merge the Forwards Markets Commission with SEBI to strengthen regulation of commodity forward markets and reduce wild speculations. An enabling legislation, amending the Government Securities Act and the RBI Act is proposed in the Finance Bill, 2015,” he said.

The merger on Monday was the result of the suggestions made in May 2003 by the Inter-Ministerial Task Force on Convergence of Securities and Commodity Derivatives Markets, chaired by bureaucrat Wajahat Habibullah.

“Even though there are some differences in commodity and financial derivatives markets, they have close resemblance in so far as trade practices and mechanism are concerned. Indian securities market has witnessed significant structural change since 1990’s,” the task force said.

“If derivatives in commodities resemble securities, then the developmental challenge of obtaining sound institutions for trading commodity derivatives can be eased by using the stable and mature institutions that are found in the securities markets,” it said.

“If the institutions of the securities markets are used, this would speed up the pace at which modern market institutions become available to farmers, and accelerate the growth rate of the agricultural sector.” Other benefits outlined for merger include: Economies of scale and scope, the possibility of strengthening the commodity spot market, better serving of stakeholders, strengthening the price discovery for farmers and desirable impact on the informal market.

(With inputs from IANS)

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India to Withdraw Pakistan’s ‘Most Favoured Nation’ Status

The Ministry of Commerce will issue the necessary communication in this regard, Jaitley added.

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Arun Jaitley
Jaitley said that the CCS observed a two-minute silence for those who made the ultimate sacrifice and expressed their condolences to the bereaved families. Wikimedia

Union Minister Arun Jaitley on Friday said that the government has decided to withdraw the “Most Favoured Nation” status given to Pakistan, in the wake of the worst-ever terror attack in Jammu and Kashmir a day ago when a CRPF convoy in Pulwama was rammed into by an explosive-packed SUV that has left 45 troopers dead.

The decision was taken at a meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Security (CCS) chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the suicide attack on Thursday that proved to be the most devatating since militancy erupted in 1989.

Speaking to the media after the meeting, Jaitley said: “The most favoured nation status which has been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn.”

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“The most favoured nation status which has been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn.” Pixabay

The Ministry of Commerce will issue the necessary communication in this regard, he added.

“The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) will initiate all possible steps, and I am referring to all diplomatic steps, which are to be taken to ensure the complete isolation from the international community of Pakistan of which incontrovertible evidence are available of having the direct hand in this gruesome terrorist attack,” Jaitley said.

The MEA in due course will keep you informed with regard to steps taken, he added.

Jaitley said that the MEA would also engage with the international community to make sure that the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism which has been pending for over three decades with the UN, particularly because of the definition of the word terrorism, must be adopted at the earliest.

 

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“The most favoured nation status which has been granted to Pakistan stands withdrawn.”, says Jaitley. Pixabay

Besides Modi and Jaitley, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman were also present at the meeting.

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Jaitley said that the CCS observed a two-minute silence for those who made the ultimate sacrifice and expressed their condolences to the bereaved families. At least 38 others continue in hospitals with injuries in the attack that has left the security establishment stunned.

He said the CRPF of course will make detailed arrangement with regard to transporting the bodies of the deceased to their families. (IANS)