MUMBAI : Madhabi Puri Buch, the first person from outside the government to head the markets regulator, is taking a page from the private sector’s playbook to improve productivity and ensure accountability and fairness at the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi).
In a 12-page internal circular on 27 May, Sebi said it would reorganize its workforce into four divisions to improve productivity, harness synergies, and facilitate domain expertise, digitization and automation. Mint has reviewed a copy of the circular.
“Sebi under Buch is target-oriented. Once the initiative is implemented, the officers would be judged on whether they met a target or not,” a senior Sebi official said, declining to be named.
Only final regulations or circulars, completed investigation reports and final orders will be counted as ‘output’, the circular said. “Intermediate steps to achieve the final output shall not be double/triple counted,” the circular said.
This means that a consultation paper that does not lead to meaningful regulation will not be counted as complete output by an officer.
Buch is also focusing on how quickly officers can complete the target and the quality of their work.
“A department’s KRA would include quality assessment. For example, quality assessment of investigation reports, enquiry reports, and show cause notices will be carried out to determine if the quality of the output conforms to the desired parameters,” the Sebi circular said.
The idea is to ensure the regulator’s orders stand scrutiny at the Securities Appellate Tribunal and Supreme Court.
Also, to ensure fairness in its functioning, no officer would serve in a department for more than five years. “Only in exceptional cases would a tenure be extended,” the person cited above said.
Sebi has also created a new department for alternative investment funds (AIFs) and foreign portfolio investments (FPIs).
“For Buch, technology is paramount, which is why all Sebi departments would need to have technology as a key aspect whether it is investor awareness or clearing public offer documents,” said the person.
“Officer in charge of TPD (technology) shall directly report to the Executive Director of the department,” said Sebi in the circular.
Any new officer would first be responsible for registration, approvals and gradually would be moved up to surveillance and enforcement and finally into policy.
“To ensure that there is fairness in the functioning within the regulator, no officer would serve in a department for more than 5 years. Meaning if I am posted in corporate finance, I would be rotated out in 5 years. Only in exceptional cases would the tenure be extended,” the person cited above said.
“In the five years the officer would need to work in all divisions within the department,” he added.
As per the circular, all changes were decided after extensive interactions between chairperson, whole time members and executive directors.
Buch, who became the first woman to head the regulator in March, had earlier served as the managing director of ICICI Securities Ltd and executive director on the board of ICICI Bank Ltd.