Errant firm count at 180

Around 180 listed companies have failed to comply with the Sebi rule of having at least one woman director on their board.

By Our Special Correspondent in Mumbai
  • Published 7.04.15
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Mumbai, April 6: Around 180 listed companies have failed to comply with the Sebi rule of having at least one woman director on their board.

The Securities and Exchange Board of India had set a deadline of April 1 for listed companies to adhere to the rule. The inability of many of them to appoint a woman director could now lead to regulatory action by Sebi and the stock exchanges.

The approaching deadline had sparked a rush among companies to meet the timeline. However, Pranav Haldea, managing director of PRIME Database, said around 180 out of the relevant 1,456 NSE-listed companies, or nearly 12 per cent of the companies, had still not appointed a woman director.

He added that as many as 32 public sector companies, including GAIL (India) Ltd, ONGC, NTPC, SAIL and Punjab National Bank have failed to comply with the Sebi norm.

Others defaulters are Bharat Electronics, BPCL, Container Corporation of India, Power Finance Corporation and Rural Electrification Corporation.

According to nse-infobase.com, across all 1,456 companies, 1,222 women are now occupying 1,431 directorship positions, representing 12 per cent of the total 11,935 directorship positions, up from 5 per cent in February last year. Of these, 671 women are holding 713 non-independent directorship positions.

Among women directors, Renu Sud Karnad and Ramni Nirula have the maximum number of board positions at seven. However, at least 363 of the directorship positions have been filled by non-independent women.

Haldea said while 829 companies had complied with the requirement after the Sebi diktat, as many as 278 did so in March, with a high of 55 on March 30 and 76 on the following day. The companies with the highest number of women directors (four each) are Apollo Hospitals Enterprise, Indraprastha Medical Corp and Monte Carlo Fashions.

Sebi had recently warned companies of "serious consequences", including hefty penalties, if they failed to meet the deadline. While Sebi norms provide for a penalty of up to Rs 25 crore, the penalty under the companies act can be from Rs 5,000 to Rs 5 lakh.