Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority (IEPF Authority)
Government of India has on 7th September, 2016 established Investor Education and Protection Fund Authority under the provisions of section 125 of the Companies Act, 2013 with an objective of promoting investor education, awareness and protection.
The Authority is entrusted with the responsibility of administration of the Investor Education and Protection Fund, make refunds of shares, unclaimed dividends, matured deposits/debentures etc. to investors and to promote awareness among investors.
Secretary, Ministry of Corporate Affairs is the ex-officio Chairman of the authority. Apart from the chairperson the authority comprises Six Members, CEO and other Officers and Staff.
Objective of the authority is to promoting investor education, awareness and protection.
- Approach: IEPF Authority has undertaken a proactive approach to achieve its mandate of promoting investor education, awareness and protection. The Authority has taken a 360 degree approach to sensitize stakeholders to include household investors, housewives, professionals, etc. across the country in rural and urban areas through direct investor awareness programmes, media campaign and engaging with other stakeholders with the common goal.
Awareness Programmes: In the urban and semi-urban areas the authority organizes investor awareness programmes in association with the Institute of charted Accountants of India, Institute of Cost Accountants of India and Institute of Company Secretaries of India, through their chapters or through the resource persons engaged for the purpose. The programmes conducted by these institutes lays focus on various subjects viz. importance of investing, Primary and Secondary Capital Markets, dos & don’ts of investing in the Capital Market, various types of investment option available like mutual funds, debentures, equity, company fixed deposit, pension funds, investment policies etc. Emphasis is also laid on rights of bank account holder and investor grievance redressal through the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, SEBI, Stock Exchanges and RBI. During the programmes investors are also made aware of various dubious schemes debtors floated in the market.
- a. In the rural areas the programmes are organised in collaboration with CSC e-governance Services Private Limited through the Common Service Centre (CSC’s) located in villages. The CSC e-governance has more than 2, 00,000 CSCs registered with them catering to the rural areas of the country which are functioning as delivery points of Government and Public Services. These programmes focus on basics of investing, capital markets, savings, house hold budget, etc.A film with the title ‘बचत नामा ‘ about the benefits of saving and to sensitize about various investor frauds is shown during the investor awareness programmes by CSCs.
b. The Indian Institute of Corporate Affairs will also conduct some awareness programmes and research activities for the Authority.
- Development of IEC materials: Multilingual Information, Education and Communication booklets and films have been developed for creating awareness. A film with the title ‘बचत नामा‘ about the benefits of saving and to sensitize about various investor frauds is shown during the investor awareness programmes by CSCs. A Special multilingual booklet titled ‘ग्रामीणनिवेशकों के लिए विवरण पुस्तिका’ has been developed on investor awareness and is distributed during these programmes. A booklet titled ‘Beginners Guide’ on investor awareness has been developed in association with ICSI. Fresh IEC materials are being developed through the Indian Institute Corporate Affairs.
Joint Awareness Campaign: A Joint Awareness campaign has been launched in association with Reserve Bank of India, Securities and Exchange Board of India & Department of Consumer Affairs. As part of the campaign activities co-branding of awareness IEC materials like jingles, comic strips, crawlers, newspapers advertisements and development of posters have been undertaken.
- Efforts are being made to involve Gram Panchayats in investor awareness programmes and to include these programmes as an agenda of State Level Coordination Committees.
- 6376 Investor Awareness Programmes (IAPs) have been conducted through the Professional Institutes from 2013-14 till December, 2017.
- 7839 Investor Awareness Programmes (IAPs) have been conducted through CSC e-governance sensitizing 236403 families/citizen from 2013-14 till December, 2017. To increase the outreach of these programmes a proposal for conducting 20,000 additional IAPs covering the remaining states of the country have been planned.
- Joint campaign for Investor awareness in association with RBI, SEBI &Deptt. of Consumer Affairs has been launched.
- Awareness creating jingles are run on All India Radio, FM Rainbow and Vividh Bharti Channels,Crawlers are run on television, SMS are sent on mobile phones and advertisements are released in newspapers.