MUMBAI: Capital markets regulator Sebi passed 670 'cease and desist' orders against entities for violating the norms during 2014-15 compared with 207 in the previous financial year.
The watchdog also took action in 225 cases related to unauthorised collection of investors' money in the last two years, Sebi chairman U K Sinha said while speaking at the launch of 'Nivesh India', a joint initiative of Times Network and NSE to reach out to investors in non-metro cities.
Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) has cease and desist mechanism' wherein it can pass directions prohibiting entities from operating in the market.
"In the year 2014-15 we have passed 670 such orders while in the previous fiscal the orders were 207," Sinha said adding Sebi was now carrying out such enforcement "more seriously".
He also noted that while enforcement was necessary to penalise those misusing the system, "the whole attempt of Sebi and market players should be to educate people on how to avoid being lured into something which will not be in their best interest and which would be in the long run, disruptive."
Concerned over gullible investors being duped by unauthorised entities, Sinha said market players and media should not only educate the investors, but also caution them against such illicit activities.
Various entities have been found to be running collective investment schemes without obtaining registration from Sebi and have raked in funds promising high returns to investors.
Besides, several other firms and individuals have raised public money by issuance of securities such as debentures and redeemable preference shares without complying with the laws.
Sinha said that Sebi in the last three years launched 25,000 investor awareness programmes from its own funds. It also put out large number of television commercials, radio spots and mobile messages to caution investors.
The regulator is aiming to have one 'resource person' in each district of the country to educate investors on capital markets the by end of the current fiscal.
So far Sebi has empanelled 400 resource persons to educate people at schools, colleges and in small towns.
Noting that the small percentage of retail participation was a concern, Sinha said investment by EPFO this year in the capital markets was a big milestone.
"For me it is a big acknowledgement of trust in regulatory system that now workers' money is coming into the capital markets, and I am sure other pension funds would also start looking at the opportunity that the Indian market can provide in the long run," Sinha said.