IFSCA circular dated 27th July, 2021 laying down fee structure for setting up a Depository Participant in the IFSC GIFT City.
The depository participants have been permitted to operate in GIFT-IFSC in terms of the applicable provisions under SEBI (International Financial Services Centres) Guidelines, 2015, as amended from time to time.
The fee structure for Depository Participants in GIFT-IFSC shall be as follows: i. Application fee of USD 500 at the time of application for registration; ii. Registration fee of USD 2,500; iii. Fee of USD 2,500 every five years post registration.
The fees shall be remitted to the following account of IFSCA: Account Name: International Financial Services Centres Authority Account Number: 970105000174 Type of Account: USD Current Account SWIFT Code: ICICINBBIBU NOSTRO Details: BOFAUS3N, Bank of America, N.A., New York Branch, A/c no: 6550491848
SEBI circular dated 9th December, 2020 wherein they have sought to streamline the e-voting process by listed entities, so that more and more public shareholders start voting. Presently, the voting by public shareholders in the e-voting process is negligible because of the cumbersome formalities with respect to registering at various depositories and remembering the passwords etc. Read on.
Under Regulation 44 of Securities and Exchange Board of India (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015, listed entities are required to provide remote evoting facility to its shareholders, in respect of all shareholders’ resolutions. However, it has been observed that the participation by the public non-institutional shareholders/retail shareholders is at a negligible level.
Currently, there are multiple e-voting service providers (ESPs) providing e-voting facility to listed entities in India. This necessitates registration on various ESPs and maintenance of multiple user IDs and passwords by the shareholders.
In order to increase the efficiency of the voting process, pursuant to a public consultation, it has been decided to enable e-voting to all the demat account holders, by way of a single login credential, through their demat accounts/ websites of Depositories/ Depository Participants. Demat account holders would be able to cast their vote without having to register again with the ESPs, thereby, not only facilitating seamless authentication but also enhancing ease and convenience of participating in e-voting process. The same shall be implemented in a phased manner as under: Phase – 1 Following process for e-voting shall be implemented within 6 months of the date of the circular. 3.1. Direct registration with Depositories – Shareholders can register directly with the depository. Shareholders would be able to access the e-voting page of various ESPs through the websites of the Depositories without further authentication by ESPs for participating in the e-voting process. OR 3.2. Through Demat Accounts with Depository Participants – Demat account holders will have the option of accessing various ESP portals directly from their demat accounts. They would be routed to the webpage of the respective Depositories from their demat accounts, which in turn would enable access to the e-voting portals of various ESPs without further authentication by ESPs for participating in the e-voting process.
The authentication of shareholders would happen at the depository level and ESPs shall allow the demat account holders to cast their vote based on the validation carried out by the Depository.
Depository shall send a confirmatory SMS to the shareholders that the vote has been cast based on the confirmation received from the ESP.
The listed entity shall provide the details of the upcoming AGMs requiring voting to the Depository. The depository shall send SMS/email alerts in this regard, to the demat account holders, atleast 2 days prior to the date of the commencement of e-voting. Phase – 2
In order to further enhance the convenience and security of the e-voting system, the depository shall validate the demat account holder through a One Time Password (OTP) verification process as under. 6.1 Direct registration with Depositories – Depositories shall allow login through registered Mobile number / E-mail based OTP verification as an alternate to login through username and password. 6.2 Through Demat Accounts with Depository Participants – A second factor authentication using Mobile / E-mail based OTP shall be introduced before the demat account holders can access the websites of the Depositories through their demat accounts. The above shall be implemented within 12 months from the completion of the process in phase 1. 7 Depository may advise the demat account holders to update their mobile number and email ID in order to access the e-voting facility. 8 Depositories shall establish a dedicated helpline to resolve technical difficulties faced by shareholders relating to the e-voting facility. Further, the listed company shall ensure that the ESPs engaged by them also provide a dedicated helpline in this regard. 9 In order to enable better deliberation and decision making by the shareholders while casting their votes, ESP Portals shall provide specific weblinks to the following: disclosures by the company on the websites of the stock exchanges report on the websites of the proxy advisors.
Applicability 10 The aforementioned facility shall be available to all individual shareholders holding the securities in demat mode. 11 ESPs may continue to provide the facility of e-voting as per the existing process to all physical shareholders and shareholders other than individuals viz. institutions/ corporate shareholders. 12 Depositories and Exchanges are advised to bring the circular to the notice of its Depository Participants and listed companies respectively. 13 All listed companies are advised to notify the above process available to demat account holders for e-voting in the notice sent to the shareholders.
Half yearly internal audit & systems audit & half yearly net worth certificate by clearing members/ traders has been extended upto 31st December, 2020.
Half yearly cyber security and cyber resilience audit for clearing members/ traders has been extended upto 31st January, 2021.
Half yearly internal audit report by depository participants (DPs) and annual systems audit by DPs extended upto 31st December, 2020.
For DPs – KYC application form and supporting documents of clients to be uploaded on system of KRA – extended upto 31st December, 2020. Further a 15 day period granted beyond 31st December, 2020 to clear the back log.
All of these extensions due to the ongoing covid pandemic.
SEBI has issued circular dated 30th December, 2014 outlining single registration for depository participants.
The gist of the circular and the proposed amendments in the regulations are as follows:
As per the amendment, the existing requirement of obtaining certificate of initial registration to act as a participant and subsequently permanent registration to continue to act as a participant for each depository has been done away with.
Henceforth, one certificate of initial registration and subsequently permanent registration through any depository shall be required after commencement of the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Depositories and Participants) (Amendment)
For the purpose of implementing the above registration requirements, the following
guidelines are being issued:
a. If a new entity desires to act as a participant in any of the depository, then the entity shall apply to SEBI for certificate of initial registration through the concerned depository in the manner prescribed in the DP Regulations.
b. If an entity has been granted a certificate of registration to act as a participant through one depository and wishes to act as a participant with the other depository then it shall directly apply to the concerned depository for approval in the manner
as prescribed in the DP Regulations. The concerned depository, on receipt of the application, may grant approval to the entity after exercising due diligence and on being satisfied about the compliance of all relevant eligibility requirements
including the following:
i. The applicant, its directors, proprietor, partners and associates satisfy the Fit and Proper Criteria as defined in the SEBI (Intermediaries) Regulations, 2008;
ii. The applicant has taken satisfactory corrective steps to rectify the deficiencies or irregularities observed in the past inspections or in case of actions initiated/ taken by SEBI/ depository(s) or other regulators. The depository may also
seek details whether the Board of the applicant is satisfied about the steps taken. They may also carry out inspection, wherever considered appropriate;
iii. Recovery of all pending fees/ dues payable to SEBI and depository; and
iv. payment of registration fees as prescribed in the DP Regulations.
The depositories shall report to SEBI about the approval as stated above on a monthly basis.
c. The participant shall apply to SEBI for permanent registration through any of the depositories in which it is acting as a participant as per the DP Regulations.
d. The participants shall continue to pay the applicable annual fees and registration fees as specified in Part A of Second Schedule in the manner specified in Part B thereof w.r.t. their respective depository(ies), as the case may be.