SEBI has recalled its staff from ‘local offices’ across the country and asked them to report to the head office in Mumbai. SEBI had opened 16 “local offices” including in hill stations such as Shimla and Dehradun under former SEBI chairman UK Sinha with a view to promote investor education.
But the thinking now is that since investor education can be done online and through seminars, large staff is not required in local offices.
Another purpose for SEBI to open these offices was to keep an eye on chit-fund and ponzi schemes in different states, after Sahara and Saradha chit-fund scams came to light.
In an internal communication on December 4, SEBI recalled 29 of its officials from various local offices and asked them to work from the head office. Those being recalled are in the rank of deputy general managers, assistant general managers and managers. They are being recalled from SEBI local offices in centres including Patna, Bengaluru, Guwahati, Hyderabad, Kochi, Chandigarh and Indore among others.
The SEBI circular says the work being handled from the local offices will now be carried out/coordinated from their supervising regional offices.
In near future, it is likely that the regulator may shut-down these offices, most of which are on lease, sources told BusinessLine. Replying to an email SEBI said it had ‘four regional offices’ and none of them were being shut. But it did not reply to an email seeking response on 16 local offices and recalling staff.