The government on Tuesday said it is keeping a close watch on the developments in the crisis-ridden NSEL and will take action once reports of the two committees looking into the problems of the exchange are received.
"We have appointed two committees. Once two reports come, government will take action. We are keeping a close watch...We are in constant touch with SEBI and FMC," Finance Minister P Chidambaram said. He said the committees would submit their reports by September 7.
National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL), promoted by Jignesh Shah-headed FTIL, is facing the problem of settling Rs 5,600 crore (Rs 56 billion) dues to 148 members/ brokers, representing 13,000 investor clients, after it suspended trade on July 31 on the government direction.
"NSEL is under FMC (Forward Markets Commission) and their administrative Ministry is Ministry of Consumer Affairs but it has wider ramifications. We have appointed two committees.
They have been asked to submit their reports within 15 days by September 6 or 7," he said.
As a payment crisis emerged late last month at the spot exchange, which was providing an electronic platform for spot trading in commodities, it suspended all trades on July 31 on a government directive.
The spot exchange later announced a seven-month plan to settle the dues, but it was able to pay only Rs 92 crore (Rs 920 million) on August 20, the first pay-out day as per the settlement calendar, as against a scheduled payment of Rs 174.72 crore (Rs 1.74 billion).
FMC has also directed NSEL to liquidate the assets of those who have defaulted on their payments. Meanwhile, Income Tax department has also conducted searches on the business premises of two dozen NSEL members.
The government is also examining a proposal to bring commodity markets regulator FMC under the purview of the Finance Ministry.