22 Jul 2012

SEBI to Make Mutual Fund More Competitive

The Central Government would continue to engage with the Mutual Fund (MF) industry and SEBI to make MFs more competitive and attract greater retail participation through innovative financial literacy programmes. Besides it, special emphasis would be given to improve penetration of MF products in Tier II and Tier III cities/towns and to redress the grievance of investors.
This was emphasized by Shri R.Gopalan, Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance during his meeting here today with the representatives of the Mutual Fund Industry and Financial Advisors’ Association to evolve a common strategy to re-energize the Mutual Fund (MF) Industry. The meeting was also attended among others by the senior officials of the Ministry of Finance and Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI). 

The gross asset mobilization by the MFs had seen a decline since 2009-10 and the need to reverse this trend has been engaging the attention of the Government and SEBI. The Mutual Fund Advisory Committee of SEBI has been meeting to consider the various steps that would need to be taken to give additional boost to the industry. The objective of the Government and SEBI is to specifically align the interests of all stakeholders and streamline the operational procedures and to achieve higher growth in the MF industry. 

During the meeting, the representatives from the MF Industry raised several issues relating to compensation payable to the distributors and the increasing preference of investors in other asset classes. The steps outlined for attention were categorized into immediate and medium term plans. The immediate plan includes steps that may have to be taken to energize the distribution network and to provide greater flexibility to Asset Management Companies to manage the Total Expense Ratio (TER). The Industry representatives also raised issues relating to the tax regime applicable to MF schemes. The industry has been requested to study in depth the taxation issues and submit their proposals to the Government. The medium term plan would include the greater role for Pension and Insurance Sectors in further augmenting the MF industry.

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