09 May 2016 13:33 IST

SME platform: 30 IPOs lined up in next few months

Ashish Chauhan, CEO, Bombay Stock Exchange   -  Bijoy Ghosh

Corporates are over-regulated, but they also need to look within, says BSE chief

As many as 30 small and medium sized firms are looking to list themselves on the BSE’s SME platform in the next few months, Ashish Chauhan, Managing Director & CEO, BSE, has said.

“There is a lot of positivity coming in business in the current economic environment. At least 30 IPOs are lined up for our SME platform in the next few months,” Chauhan told BusinessLine on the sidelines of a PHDCCI seminar on ‘Is the Corporate Sector Over-regulated”.

Till date, about 136 SMEs are already listed on BSE’s SME platform.

The robust pipeline for SME listing is besides the several IPOs that are lined for the next one year for the main market platform, Chauhan noted.

Earlier, in his address at the event, Chauhan said Corporates in India are “over-regulated” and there was also a need to remove the red tape that exists in the system.

Fighting red tapism

“Prior to 1991, we had both licence raj and red tape. When we moved into liberalisation post 1991, there was still red tape. This red tape continues to exist and the current government is working to remove this systematically”, he said.

“By removing licence raj, we are now growing at 7 per cent. If only we can remove red tape, you can envisage how fast we can grow.” Chauhan also said the Modi-led Government was keen to repeal several antiquated laws. “Slowly as we go forward we will see much lesser laws of the past regulating us, but we will see more regulations of the future coming in.”

Chauhan also felt that corporate sector also needs to look within.

“If you want simpler procedures and simpler things, then you should also ensure that you don’t violate social norms — moral part of it.. not the legal part of it,” he said.

Self-regulation, failed choice

Stating that self-regulation has not worked, Chauhan pointed out that BSE was self-regulated entity for 130 out of 140 years of its existence.

“You have heard of the scams and so on and so forth. This happened because self-regulation has a serious issue. Slowly societies have realised that self-regulations are not a great way to do it,” he said.

More questions

Meanwhile, commenting on BSE’s role as a first level regulator, Chauhan said the bourse has started asking more questions from companies listed on its platform than it did in 2014.

“With the advancement in technology, the information arbitrage has shortened to milliseconds. Any news, rumours or social media activity relating to your company, we are now obliged to ask you to check the veracity of the information. SEBI wants us to do this so that market can be informed.” Lalit Bhasin, Chairman, PHDCCI’s Corporate Affairs Committee, said there has to be better enforcement of existing laws than enactment of new ones.