NEW DELHI: Financial capability is increasingly becoming a priority for policymakers as it contributes to financial stability, financial inclusion and effective functioning of the financial markets. A broader concept, financial capability encompasses the knowledge (Financial literacy), attitudes, skills and behavior of investors with regard to managing their money. said Ms Anita Shah Akella, Joint Secretary, MCA and CEO, Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority (IEPFA) at a virtual interactive seminar, Harnessing the Potential of Socio-Economic Empowerment in India Through Protected, Safe and Sustainable Investments held during the World Investors Week i.e. WIW-2022.
She added, “Effective policy design and implementation towards enhancing of financial capability requires nationwide awareness to identify the key priority areas.
Ms Akella informed that the IEPFA, since its inception 6 years ago, started its journey as a statutory body under the aegis of Ministry of Corporate Affairs and reached out to rural investors, mostly the low-income group to make them understand on how they can improve their quality of life. “We identified CSC-e Governance Services to conduct Investor Awareness Programmes (IAPs) in 117 aspirational districts of rural India. A recent study done by IIT Delhi suggests that these IAPs of IEPFA have brought visible changes in the quality of life of the participants. Many of them have started saving and making small investments in government schemes, besides learning how to use digital transactions. Most importantly, the cases of losing money to fraud schemes have reduced drastically in those areas,” she revealed.
The Joint Secretary, MCA and CEO, IEPFA also stated that “participation of society and industry bodies like ASSOCHAM and AMFI” is also needed “to achieve the considerable mass of educated and protected investors in the country in a holistic manner.”
Guest of Honour, G P Garg, Executive Director, Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), in his address, said the large numbers of investors who are putting their money in securities are increasing. He added that the recent introduction of UPI and E-KYC has set a pace for the growth of Indian securities market. This transition opened the ease of doing business (EoDB) for the domestic and foreign investors. He noted, “Today, we have Rs 10 crore demat account in our country and the vision for the government is to increase financial literacy through National Strategy for Financial Education.”
He revealed that the largest percentage of financial inclusion in the commodity market is from Goa. While working towards the interest of investor, SEBI has been working for both demand and supply inclusions and introduced education initiatives like SMARTs with 2400 programs, Investor Associations 2100 awareness programs, SAARTHI app for digital literacy of finance and investments, investor charter for investor complaints and portfolio.
Prof. (Dr.) Saurabh Agarwal, Professor of Accounting & Finance & Principal, Indian Institute
According to Shri Suryakant Sharma, Sr. Consultant, AMFI, Former DGM, SEBI, and Chartered Associate-IIBF, “The long-term focus of the World Investor Week is to improve capacity building and financial awareness’. The middle class have always struggled with wealth creation, so these opportunities should be created by the regulatory bodies for them to tap into some investment and real time solutions. Mutual Funds are a good option for investing.” He further said that prosperity is the right of all individuals – irrespective of gender, sex and income.
Speaking at the opening address Mr. Basudev Mukherjee, Assistant Secretary General, ASSOCHAM appraised the need for empowerment of the society so as the citizens be enabled to face stiff interface with the disruptive world of schemes,technologies, and market manipulators.
Gurdeep Singh, Task Force Chair for SI&AC and MD, Simran Holidays said all the support should be considered as a strategic cause to improve socio-economic conditions in the nation. Regulators should increase the direct engagement with the public for a stronger support mechanism. The seminar was jointly organized by ASSOCHAM, AMFI, SEBI and IEPFA under IOSCO’s WIW-2022, was conducted by Mr. Santosh Parashar, Additional Director & Head Corporate Affairs and the participants attended from all over India.
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