Securities and Exchange Board of India, which has introduced an online system to cut the redressal time for complaints, received over 28 lakh (2.8 million) investor greviances last fiscal, the government said on Thursday.
"Sebi has informed that it has received a total of 28,10,113 grievances as on March 31, 2012," Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
He added, however, that Sebi's new online complaint redressal system, SCORES, has reduced the processing time of complaints.
Meena said: "Sebi has informed that it commenced a new web-based centralised grievance redressal system called Sebi Complaints Redress System on June 8, 2011.
"SCORES is web-enabled and provides 24x7 online access to the complainants. All activities starting from lodging of a complaint till its closure by Sebi can be done online in an automated environment."
In addition, he informed the House that the government has requested Sebi to take appropriate action in time on investor grievances and send its reply to the complainants.
Regarding query on misuse of Power of Attorney by stock brokers, Meena said: "Sebi has system of categorising the complaints received from investors against stock brokers on 26 parameters based on complaints generally received by it.
Complaints of forged POA do not fall in any of these 26 parameters.
"Thus, Sebi does not have data about the number of incidents where investor's stocks were mishandled and/or allegedly liquidated by brokers, purely based on a forged POA."
However, the minister said that regarding the issue, Sebi in 2010 has mandated that execution of POA is not compulsory, but is only an option available to the client.
Besides, the POA executed by the client in favour of a stock broker can be revoked by the client at any time.