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No woman director in 56 NSE-listed companies

Tuesday, Apr 19, 2016,15:59 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | As many as 56 companies including Tata Power, Alstom India, state-run ONGC and GAIL have failed to comply with regulator Sebi’s norms to appoint at least one woman director on board, leading data provider Prime Database said.

These non-compliant firms include a host of PSUs (Public Sector Units) and PSBs (Public Sector Banks). All listed firms were required to have at least one woman director on their boards from April 1, 2015, as per a Sebi directive, as also under the Companies Act, 2013. These rules are aimed at ensuring gender diversity in boardrooms. According to Prime Database, a total of 56 NSE-listed companies have not appointed a woman director on board.

BEML, BPCL, Hindustan Organic Chemicals, HMT, IOC, MMTC, National Fertilisers, Power Finance Corp, Syndicate Bank, Rural Electrification Corp, Oriental Bank of Commerce, State Trading Corp and Madras Fertilisers are among the PSUs that are yet to comply with Sebi’s directive.

Some of the private entities that still have to induct women directors are Lanco Infratech, DB Corp, Valecha Engineering, Servalakshmi Paper and Salora International. The rule was first announced by Sebi in February 2014 with an initial deadline of October 1 the same year that was later extended by six months.

Since then, most of the companies listed on NSE have hired a woman member on board. Interestingly, a significant number of firms appointed a woman member from the promoter family to comply with the rule within the deadline. Acting against listed firms without a mandatory woman director, Sebi in April 2015 announced a minimum Rs 50,000 fine and warned of further action, including against promoters and directors, if they remain non-compliant beyond six months.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) announced a four-stage penalty structure wherein fines would increase with the passage of time. The market watchdog had asked the stock exchanges to levy the fines as the violation relates to the Listing Agreement. The listed companies complying between April 1, and June 30, 2015 will have to pay Rs 50,000.

Those complying between July 1 and September 30 would need to pay Rs 50,000 and an additional Rs 1,000 per day till compliance. The listed firms complying on or after October 1, 2015 will have to pay Rs 1.42 lakh, plus Rs 5,000 per day till the date of compliance.

For any non-compliance beyond September 30, 2015, the regulator may take any other action against the non-compliant entities, their promoters and/or directors or issue such directions in accordance with law, as considered appropriate.

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