Islamabad, July 28, 2016 (PPI-OT):The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan organized a briefing session for its employees to familiarize and keep them abreast with the recent changes made to the SECP Act, 1997. The SECP chairman, Mr. Zafar Hijazi, Dr. Tariq Hassan, former SECP chairman, Ms. Rahat Kaunain Hassan, former chairperson, Competition Commission, and chief prosecutor, SECP, Muzzafar Ahmad Mirza, highlighted the importance of the amendments made to the SECP Act, 1997.
The briefing was arranged in view of the fact that the Bill will come into force soon, after the approval of the president and its implementation will start. Therefore, the SECP chairman, Mr. Zafar Hijazi, advised all the SECP officers to take necessary measures to ensure that those at the helm of affairs are fully familiar with the changes made in the said Act to enable the Commission function more effectively. He emphasized that the amendments would facilitate superintendence and control over capital and financial services markets, corporate sector and insurance industry.
This will bring the SECP on a par with its international counterparts in the capital markets of the world. Chairman Hijazi particularly stressed the point that the Bill had greatly increased the SECP’s responsibilities and we have to discharge them in a transparent and equitable manner. And so every SECP employee must shoulder this responsibility. The Bill is part of government’s reform agenda, which is likely to include more such things in the future, he said.
Dr. Tariq Hassan pointed out that by virtue of these amendments, the SECP would become administratively and financially more independent. He said that the functions of the Commission have been enhanced to include regulations, facilitating growth of Shariah-compliant financial products, healthy growth of the corporate sector (public and private), to promote good corporate governance, to create awareness among investors and to provide protection to investors; ensuring development of sound regulatory framework to counter illegal and unfair practices in financial services market; to control and minimize market abuse, misconduct and financial crimes in financial services market and other sectors regulated by the Commission; etc.
Ms. Rahat Kaunain provided an overview of the amendments regarding the establishment of independent Audit Oversight Board which will ensure quality of audit of public interest companies and establishment of self-regulatory organization (SRO) for the protection of investors and public interest.
Chief prosecutor, SECP, briefly explained the provisions regarding prosecution of offences by the Commission and powers pertaining to inspection, investigation, enforcement and call for information which are proposed to be enhanced. He added that effective mechanism has also been introduced in the amendment Bill for recovery of penalties through court in addition to recovery as arrears of land revenue.
For more information, contact:
Shakil Ahmad Chaudhary
Head, Internal and External Communication
Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP)
NIC Building, 63 Jinnah Avenue, Islamabad
Tel: +92-51-9214005 or +92-51-9214009 (Ext. 378)