New Delhi (Agencies): Faced with a herculean task of managing and resolving lakhs of investor complaints, market regulator SEBI is putting in place a web-based centralized system for speedy redressal of these grievances.

SEBI's existing investor grievance redressal mechanism lacks a centralised database and the resolution of the complaints often gets delayed due to physical movement of files from one desk to another across its various offices.

Besides reducing time gap between receipt and redressal of a complaint, the new system would also help in storage of the investor grievances, whose numbers have swelled to over 2.7 million since SEBI's inception, a senior official said.

SEBI had received more than 32,300 investor complaints in 2009-10, while the numbers are even higher at over 39,600 in the first nine months of the current fiscal.

However, the number of complaints are lower as compared to close to 55,000 in 2007-08 and more than 57,500 in 2008-09.

During 2009-10, total 42,742 grievances were redressed, while more than 38,000 complaints were resolved till December in 2010-11.

The SEBI board, in its meeting last week, took note of the "herculean task" of storage, maintenance and retrieval of the records related to investor grievances and deliberated over measures to improvise the system, the official added.

The board, which also comprises nominees from the government, was told that SEBI was in the process of upgrading its investor grievance redressal mechanism by setting up the web-based centralised system.

To be called SEBI Complaints Redress System (SCORES), the new system would have a centralised tracking system for all grievances at various offices and divisions of SEBI.

Currently, the list of investor grievances are maintained at various divisions and regional offices of Sebi.

Complaints are also received in various physical and electronic formats.

The new system would also facilitate lodging of complaints pertaining to any of the regional SEBI offices from anywhere.

All the grievances and Action Taken Reports would be in electronic mode and linked to the central server.

Besides, the investors would be able to access online the status of their complaints, including the action taken, if any, on their grievances.

The official said the new system would reduce grievance process time, as physical movements of the complaints would no more be required.

Under the new system, software for which is being developed by the Union Ministry of Information Technology's National Informatics Centre, any grievance would be treated as resolved or closed only "after SEBI's full satisfaction".

The official said SEBI has made presentations to the stock exchanges and other market entities about the new system and a pilot project to test its robustness is being undertaken.

Before its formal roll-out, SEBI is testing the system for grievances against stock brokers, depository participants, as also against the large blue chip companies that are part of the Sensex and Nifty companies.

The problem of storage, as also the risk of loss or misplacement of records, would also be addressed through conversion of all physical complaints into electronic format, the official said.