INVESTOR EDUCATION AND PROTECTION FUND (IEPF)
Context: Union Minister of State for Finance & Corporate Affairs, Anurag Singh Thakur, in a written reply to Lok Sabha has put forward the performance of Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF).
The Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) is to be inter alia utilised for distribution of disgorged amount among eligible and identifiable applicants who have suffered losses due to wrong actions by any person, in accordance with the orders made by the Court which had ordered disgorgement. WHAT IS THIS FUND? Investor Education and Protection Fund or IEPF is a fund set up under the Section 205C of the Companies Act, 1956 in order to pool all the dividends of the Asset Management Companies, matured deposits, share application interests or money, debentures, interests, etc. that are unclaimed for 7 years. All the money collected from the mentioned sources has to be transferred to IEPF. Investors, who are trying to seek a refund for their unclaimed rewards can now do so from the Investor Protection and Education Fund (IEPF). The fund has been set up under the guidance of SEBI and Ministry of Corporate Affairs India. WHAT ARE THE OBJECTIVES OF INVESTOR EDUCATION AND PROTECTION FUND OR IEPF? The major objectives of Investor Education and Protection Fund (IEPF) are:
- Educating investors about how the market operates.
- Making investors educated enough so that they can analyse and take informed decisions.
- Educating investors about the volatility of the markets.
- Making investors realise their rights and various laws about Investing.
- Promoting research and surveys to spread knowledge among the investors.
The following amounts shall be part of IEPF, if they remain unpaid for a period of 7 years from the date of declaration:
- Amounts in the unpaid dividend accounts of companies;
- The application moneys received by companies for allotment of any securities and due for refund;
- Matured deposits with companies;
- Grants and donations given to the Fund by the Central Government, State Governments, companies or any other institutions for the purposes of the Fund;
- The interest or other income received out of the investments made from the Fund.
WHAT IS THE CURRENT STATUS?
- Till 05.02.2020, no order for distribution of any amount has been received.
- During the last 3 years no funds have been allocated from IEPF Authority to Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) and hence no complaints regarding misappropriation of funds by NGOs have been received in the last 3 years.
- The IEPF is inter-alia utilised for settlement of claims filed by Claimants and promotion of investor education, awareness and promotion.
- The IEPF Authority has a toll free helpline to provide the status of refund applications to the Claimants. The number also provides a mechanism for the companies to provide resolution with reference to the various forms relating to the IEPF filed by them.
- An Interactive Voice Response System (IVRS) has also put in place which gives information about the status of the claim filed by the Claimant.
- The IEPF Authority organizes Investor Awareness Programmes (IAPs), for creating awareness amongst the Investors as a part of its mandate. During the last 3 years, 35,686 such programmes have been organised in rural and urban areas of the country.
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