The investor education and protection fund authority (IEPFA) has reached out to top hundred companies to reduce the documentation required for individuals trying to claim their shares, according to a senior government official.
Recently, the Supreme Court-appointed expert panel on the Adani-Hindenburg case had raised issues such as capacity constraints faced by IEPFA in clearing these claims which are over Rs 5,000 crore.
“Our immediate priority is to ensure that claims of those investors whose application was approved a year ago but the transfer has not gone through yet are settled first.
“We are trying to address all grievances as soon as we can,” the senior official said.
IEPFA has unclaimed shares of around 5,000 companies (the top 100 firms mentioned above are a part of this pool), of which the maximum belong to the Reliance Group.
Claiming these shares is a long-drawn-out process which involves extensive documentation and re-verification.
Also, IEPFA has told investors to not take any professional help in submitting these claims as the government is concerned that with lack of any checks and control in the sector, unscrupulous agents could exploit the situation to charge hefty commission from individuals.
However, the corporate affairs ministry is considering whether professional help should be allowed to help claimants with the documentation and other processes.
IPEFA is also starting five regional Seva Kendras or help centres to help out people soon.
One of the big challenges the authority currently faces is the lack of manpower which often slows down its grievance redressal mechanism.
As announced by finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman in her Budget speech this year, an integrated IT portal to resolve the technical glitches is being developed by a government agency.
This portal, expected to be launched by December 2023, would be compatible with several other systems which are involved in the process of claiming unpaid dividends.
These include Central Depository Service Limited and National Securities Depository limited, among others.
Non-interoperability of different technical platforms was flagged as one of the issues in the expert panel’s report.
This leads to a lot of back and forth between different departments, filing of hard copies of documents leading to delays and lengthier processes.
The IEPFA, in a submission to the committee, also said that since there are multiple stakeholders involved in the process working on different electronic platforms, there are issues of interoperability.
It also said that The flow of data is not seamless and the process of refund takes way more than the statutory stipulated period.
The IEPFA has been established under section 125 of the Companies Act 2013, with the objective of promoting investor, education, awareness and protection.
Investors can claim refund by filing an online application notification, which then undergoes a process of reverification.
Source: Read Full Article