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Online help for aggrieved investors

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MCA-funded Web site launched; to help narrow gap with cos, SEs

OMBUDSMAN: The Minister for Company Affairs, Mr P.C. Gupta, (right) with the Secretary, Mr Anurag Goel, at the launch of Web site www. investorhelpline.in, in the Capital on Friday. - Ramesh Sharma
OMBUDSMAN: The Minister for Company Affairs, Mr P.C. Gupta, (right) with the Secretary, Mr Anurag Goel, at the launch of Web site www. investorhelpline.in, in the Capital on Friday. - Ramesh Sharma

Our Bureau

New Delhi, Sept. 8

Investors having grievances against various companies that have collected money from the public can now log on to a Web site called www.investorhelpline.in

The grievances, which can be addressed to companies listed or registered in India, will be processed by the Web site by first taking up the issue with the respective companies, and eventually with the concerned regulators, such as the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), Registrar of Companies (RoC)and the Company Affairs Ministry. Investors can use the services of the Web site free of cost.

The portal will be maintained and managed by Midas Touch Investors Association, a not-for-profit organisation working for investor protection. The Investor Education and Protection Fund, Ministry of Company Affairs, has funded the project with an annual cost of Rs 30 lakh.

"This is another attempt by us to use IT to address grievances," said Mr P.C. Gupta, Minister for Company Affairs, after launching the Web site here on Friday.Pointing out that out of 7.5 lakh companies in the country, only 9,000 are listed companies, Mr Anurag Goel, Secretary, Ministry of Company Affairs, said the database generated by this helpline would help individuals, and provide significant inputs to policy-makers and decision makers.

The Web site can help sort out information regarding grievances addressed to a particular company, types of grievances across companies, date-wise grievances, amongst others. "Thus if a certain company is receiving a lot of grievances from investors, then they can by taken up collectively with the company and with the regulator, if need be," said Mr Virendra Jain, Director-Investor Helpline.

"The Web site would help fill the gap between investors and companies, investor and stock-exchanges, investors and securities market and investor and authorities," he said.

The Web site has 11 readymade grievance forms based on different issues, such as non-receipt of refund order, dividend, share certificates, units after allotment, bond debentures, fixed deposit-related amounts, returns from plantation companies, amongst others.

Investors can submit the details of their grievances online, after which they will get a unique grievance registration number. They can use the unique number to track the status of their grievance subsequently.

The site also has an online database of about 3,000 companies, which have changed their names and/or addresses. So, investors can search out the companies by either their new names or old names.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated September 9, 2006)
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