Reform boost to commodity mkt as cabinet clears FCRA Bill

Giving a reform boost to commodity markets, the government today approved the FCRA Bill that seeks to provide more powers to sectoral regulator Forward Markets Commission (FMC) and allow a new category of products.

The Cabinet has approved the Forward Contract Regulation Act (Amendment) Bill. It will give more teeth to FMC. Farmers will also benefit,” Food Minister K V Thomas told PTI.

The Forward Contract Regulation Act (FCRA) Bill, considered vital for the development of futures trade, aims to provide financial autonomy to the regulator. FMC can become self-sufficient by collecting revenues in form of fees from exchanges after the passage of this Bill in parliament, Thomas said. The retirement age of FMC chairman and its members will go up to 65 years from 60 years, if parliament passes the Bill. The number of members in FMC has also been proposed to increase from four to nine. The Bill also seeks to facilitate entry of institutional investors and pave the way for introduction of a new category of products, like Options.

The bill seeks to increase penalty on defaulters to Rs 50 lakh from the existing Rs 25 lakh. At present, the country has five national and 16 regional commodity exchanges. Recently, FMC had given its approval to the Universal Commodity Exchange to operate as a national bourse. The cumulative turnover of the commodity exchanges is about Rs 80.30 lakh crore till September 15 of the current fiscal.

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