Creation of a social stock exchange has been proposed by the Union Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, while presenting the Union Budget 2019-20 in Parliament today.
The Finance Minister said that it is time to take our capital markets closer to the masses and meet various social welfare objectives related to inclusive growth and financial inclusion. The Minister further stated that “I propose to initiate steps towards creating an electronic fundraising platform – a social stock exchange – under the regulatory ambit of Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) for listing social enterprises and voluntary organizations working for the realization of a social welfare objective so that they can raise capital as equity, debt or as units like a mutual fund”.
The Finance Minister added that it is important to get retail investors to invest in treasury bills and securities issued by the Government. Efforts made by the Reserve Bank will need to be supplemented with further institutional development using stock exchanges. For this purpose, inter-operability of RBI depositories and SEBI depositories would be necessary to bring about the seamless transfer of treasury bills and government securities between RBI and Depository ledgers and for enabling this. The Government will take up necessary measures in this regard in consultation with RBI and SEBI.