In a recent development aimed at facilitating flexibility for listed entities, the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has introduced a series of timely relaxations in alignment with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA). his response to the evolving regulatory landscape seeks to offer temporary relief to listed companies by easing certain provisions of the SEBI (Listing Obligations and Disclosure Requirements) Regulations, 2015 (SEBI LODR).
In a circular dated October 6, 2023, the MCA granted companies flexibility by permitting them to forgo the physical dispatch of financial statements to shareholders until September 30, 2024. Recognizing the necessity for uniformity across regulatory frameworks, SEBI promptly issued circulars on October 6 and 7, 2023, adjusting its SEBI LODR provisions to align with the concessions outlined in the Companies Act, 2013.
For entities with specified securities, the relaxations extend to exempting them from sending hard copies of statements to shareholders without registered email addresses until September 30, 2024. Furthermore, there is no obligation to dispatch proxy forms for electronically held general meetings during the same period. However, the responsibility to send full annual reports in hard copy to shareholders upon request remains intact. Entities with non-convertible securities listed on stock exchanges also benefit from a parallel relaxation, relieving the requirement to send hard copies of statements with salient features to holders without registered email addresses until September 30, 2024.
These interim measures highlight SEBI's commitment to striking a balance between regulatory rigor and the practical challenges confronted by listed entities, particularly amidst the prevalent shift towards electronically conducted meetings. The relief granted until September 30, 2024, strategically aims to bolster compliance efficiency for listed entities, enabling them to navigate regulatory complexities with agility and resilience.