ISLAMABAD: Approved by the National Assembly recently, large scale amendments in the SECP Act 1997 have curtailed the powers of the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Policy Board not only to finish the overlapping functions of the board and the commission but also to maintain a balance between the two.

The amended law has omitted the suo motu powers of the Policy Board.

Under the amended act, out of six independent members of the SECP Policy Board, at least one will be from each province. The maximum age for the member of Policy Board has been fixed at 65 years, compared to no age limit in the existing law.

Besides, the chairman and commissioners of SECP would require a two-year “cooling off period” to become members of the Policy Board.

The amended bill will be forwarded to the upper house for approval and after getting cleared from the Senate it will become part of the law.

A senior SECP official talking to Dawn said that streamlining the policy board was essential after what was witnessed in recent years, which resulted in the delay of approval of the regulator’s budget by more than six months.

“The overlapping powers made the SECP Policy Board more powerful than the Commission, even in operational matters,” the official added.

Published in Dawn, January 22nd, 2022

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