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SECP to ease laws to support startups

By Our Correspondent
October 18, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) will amend Companies Act to support startups, providing an empowering environment for young innovative entrepreneurs to succeed in their ventures, an official said on Thursday.

“The SECP is taking various initiatives to create an enabling regulatory framework for facilitating startups in Pakistan. These measures will attract local and international innovators,” said Shauzab Ali, SECP’s Commissioner for Information System and Technology, speaking at a session. The consultative workshop was organised by the SECP at CDC House Karachi to discuss options for a coherent industry policy for startups.

The SECP official briefed the participants on proposals to eliminate arduous requirements in the Companies Act that are not viable for startups. Similarly, with the advent of new technology enabled financial products reshaping the modern businesses, the SECP discussed the concept of equity crowd funding, which is one of the fastest evolving products within the Fintech landscape. The commissioner also briefed the participants on various initiatives of the SECP, including amendments in private equity and venture capital regulations, draft equity crowdfunding regulations, launch of a startup portal, setting up a CRO (Company Registration Office) facilitation desk and launching of the first regulatory Sandbox in Pakistan.

The commission in its statement also said in-line with the government’s initiative of ease of doing business and increasing access to finance and to facilitate private equity investments, the SECP had introduced significant amendments in the private equity & venture capital regulatory framework, which have been notified for public consultation.

Participants deliberated upon issues related to capital formation for small businesses and proposed various regulatory amendments to provide ease of doing business to startups.

In a fast-paced interactive workshop, participants discussed various proposals and gave feedback on SECP’s initiatives for facilitation of startups.