36. The Indian equity market is the oldest in Asia. Since the creation of SEBI much greater transparency as well as automaticity has been introduced in the working of the equity market. The need now is to develop and deepen the debt market. This will be of great benefit to small investors and institutional investors alike. The infrastructure sector will be enabled to raise long term funds, particularly with the opening of the insurance sector.
37. In order to further develop a transparent and active debt market in general, and the Government securities market in particular, I propose to take the following measures:
l A Clearing Corporation will be set up under the active encouragement of the RBI, with State Bank of India as the chief promoter, and is expected to be in place by June 2001. It will also enable settlement of forex transactions.
l Trading of Government Securities, through order driven screen-based system will be implemented.
l An electronic Negotiated Dealing System will be set up by the RBI by June 2001 to facilitate transparent electronic bidding in auctions and dealings in Government securities on a real time basis.
l In order to ensure smooth and quick movement of funds, the Electronic Fund Transfer (EFT) and Real Time Gross Settlement Systems (RTGS) are being put in place by the Reserve Bank of India within the next year.
l Clarifications are being issued by CBDT to promote the issuance of STRIPS, zero coupon bonds, deep discount bonds, and the like.
l The old Public Debt Act will be replaced by Government Securities Act.
l Comprehensive legislation will be introduced on securitization.
38. I propose to set up a small group comprising the Reserve Bank of India, SEBI, the stock exchanges and Ministry of Finance to monitor and implement these developments so that the debt market becomes active next year.