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Sebi mulls new mechanism for auditors

Sebi mulls new mechanism for auditors
Highlights

With an aim to unearth financial irregularities and other fraudulent transactions at listed companies, capital market regulator Sebi is planning to set up a new whistle-blower mechanism for auditors and other 'gate-keepers' to report such cases.

New Delhi: With an aim to unearth financial irregularities and other fraudulent transactions at listed companies, capital market regulator Sebi is planning to set up a new whistle-blower mechanism for auditors and other 'gate-keepers' to report such cases.

The proposed move assumes significance in the wake of several auditors in the recent past decided to exit from their audit mandate after certain listed companies failed to take remedial actions despite financial wrongdoings having been flagged in their auditors' observations.

Officials said most of these auditor exits have taken place at a much later stage, but a 'confidentiality mechanism' can help in cases of financial frauds being reported at an early stage by auditors, independent directors and others considered to be 'gate-keepers' or 'conscience keepers'.

Regulators and enforcement agencies have often stressed that auditors, independent directors, investment bankers, valuers and other such entities have a greater responsibility to ensure compliance to regulations and safeguard the interest by minority shareholders.

While Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has announced a new mechanism to reward informants with up to Rs 1 crore cash for any credible inside information for providing information on insider trading at listed companies, this is not applicable to corporate entities and professionals such as auditors and lawyers.

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