The Council of Common Interests (CCI) on Monday unanimously approved the Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (Amendments) Bill 2016.
The council met with Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif in the chair in a meeting that was attended by all the chief ministers.
According to Chapter 3, article 153 of the constitution, all the laws related to federal statuary bodies need to be approved by the CCI before being presented to the parliament, says a statement issued by the commission on Monday.
The SECP is the apex regulator of the corporate sector, insurance sector, Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) sector and capital market, overseeing as many as 70,000 registered companies.
The operational framework of the SECP Act needs revamping to enforce transparency, ensure good governance and to overcome the gaps and operational deficiencies.
After its establishment in year 1999 through various amendments the mandate of the SECP was enhanced to floatation, management and regulation of Modarabas (1999), Insurance Sector (2000), NBFCs Sector (2002), Commodity Futures Market (2003) and Real Estate Investment Trust-REITS (2008).
While SECP was converted into a unified regulator, it was not adequately equipped with legal powers to perform its enhanced mandate.
Furthermore, the corporate and financial markets have transformed drastically in the last decade. Periodic assessments of SECP’s role and statutory authority have been undertaken by various international agencies.
The SECP (amendment) Bill has been reviewed in the wake of rapid changes in the Commission’s jurisdiction and now it has been brought in consonance with international standards to ensure better and effective regulation. The amendments have been proposed keeping in view the international regulatory standards/objectives and principles established by the International Organisation of Securities Commission (IOSCO) and to address various deficiencies and gaps in the existing SECP Act 1997.
The proposed amendments would facilitate better superintendence and control over capital and financial services markets, corporate sector and insurance industry.
This will bring the SECP at par with its international counterparts in the capital markets of the world.
Earlier, the CCI in its meeting held on June 1, 2011 had approved the draft SECP Bill 2011 and the same was introduced in the National Assembly on October 2011 which stood lapsed as a result of the expiry of the tenure of the National Assembly in March 2013.