To contain the spread of COVID-19 infections in the state, the Maharashtra government on 4th April, 2021 imposed partial lockdown as a precautionary measure from 5th April to 30th April 2021. However, only leading exchanges NSE and BSE and banks, etc. have been exempted from the partial lockdown. Since stockbroking is a systematically important part of the financial services industry and crucial for exchange operations, ANMI in its submission to the Maharashtra government has urged for the following reliefs:
- To include financial market intermediaries “Stock Brokers” as essential Service Provider.
- To allow broking staff to travel by local transport and to exempt them from partial lockdown/curfew.
An ANMI official said, “Since NSE & BSE are permitted to work, the intermediaries are also required to keep their offices open and hence we request the government to add stockbrokers in the category of essential services to ensure they can provide services to their clients. Further, apart from NSE and BSE, other exchanges like NCDEX, MCX, MSE, and Depositories CDSL, NSDL should also be exempted from restrictions.”
Stock broker offices are mostly located in Mumbai and the staff is required to commute between office to home till late in the night. Further, trading hours of Commodity Brokers is permitted by SEBI up to 11pm and the office is required to be kept open till the market is open and by the time the staff leaves the office after completing his work it is at 12.00 midnight.