Market regulator Sebi today indicated listed companies would not be provided additional time to comply with minimum public shareholding norms, whose deadline is expiring in August next year.
Sebi had first talked about minimum public float for listed companies in 2001.
"It is a completely wrong assumption and arguments that the three-year time frame given is too short a time frame," Sebi Chairman U K Sinha said here.
He pointed out that the time frame has "already crossed 11 years, definitely 6 years... What have we done? I don't think it is anybody's case that market was not good in 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010".
Based on July valuations, Sinha said listed companies would have to sell shares worth Rs 32,000 crore to comply with the minimum public shareholding norms.
Of the total, public sector companies' share would be about Rs 11,000 crore, while the rest would be from private entities.
In late 2010, Sebi came out with norms saying government firms should have a minimum public shareholding of 10% and the private companies 25%. These guidelines were to be complied within three years.
While the private companies have to meet norms by June 2013, for PSUs the deadline is August 2013.
Asked whether the regulator would impose penalty for non-compliance, Sinha said provisions are already in place if the company violates Sebi nomrs.
"...I would like to clarify that violation of listing agreement or violation of Securities Contract Regulation Rules, the consequences of that is already provided in various sections," he said.
As on March this year, 193 companies were non-compliant with minimum public shareholding norms while 125 private entities had less than 20% public shareholding, Sinha said.
He noted, there were as many as 1,259 companies that did not submit their shareholding pattern as on March 2012.
"We have been receiving many representations. We have been telling them to follow the Sebi norms in letter and spirit. If you are only trying to do it in letter and not in the spirit of it, then Sebi is not going to be enthusiastic about it. We are examining those issues," Sebi chief said.
Sinha was speaking at a conference organised by PHD Chamber on 'Minimum Public Shareholding: Issues & Challenges'.
Regarding the minimum public shareholding issue, Sinha said the regulator was open to looking at more options that would help listed companies to comply with the norms.
Earlier this year, Sebi introduced Institutional Placement Programme (IPP) and Offer for Sale (OFS) in addition to existing methods to facilitate dilution of promoters stake.
However, Sebi opined that very few companies have taken advantage of IPP and OFS since it was introduced.
Meanwhile, BSE Interim CEO Ashish Kumar Chauhan said out of 4,967 companies listed on the exchange, only about 206 entities were yet to comply with minimum public shareholding guidelines. PTI DP RAM YB