2G: Supreme Court to hear government's Presidential Reference from 10 July

The government moved the Presidential Reference, in which eight questions have been raised, including whether there could be judicial interference in policy matters, vis-a-vis disposal of natural resources and investments made by foreign investors under multi and bilateral agreements

New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday decided to commence hearing on Presidential Reference moved by government on the 2G spectrum from 10th July. The union government is seeking opinion from the apex court on issues arising out of the SC's 2G spectrum judgement including whether auctioning of natural resources across all sectors is mandatory, reports PTI.

A five-judge Constitution Bench headed by Chief Justice SH Kapadia issued notices to the state governments and industrial chambers FICCI and CII and sought their responses on behalf of the private industries.

The court also issued notices to the NGO, Centre for Public Interest Litigation (CPIL) and Janata Party President Subramanian Swamy on whose petitions a bench comprising justices GS Singhvi and AK Ganguly (since retired) had delivered a judgement on 2nd February for cancelling 122 telecom licences by holding that the first-come-first-served policy was illegal and unconstitutional.

The Reference has also asked the court for its view whether the verdict in the 2G case be given retrospective effect for radio waves granted since 1994.

The bench headed by Justice Singhvi had held that all natural resources should be allocated through auction.

The Constitution Bench also comprising justices DK Jain, JS Khehar, Dipak Misra and Ranjan Gogoi said that the notices shall be served within a period of two weeks to the parties including by email, fax, courier or by the messenger of the Union of India.

The bench also said the notices on the reference will be served on all states through their standing counsel. It made it clear that for expeditious hearing of the matter, statements of fact and arguments shall be filed by the parties in the court within three weeks.

The government on 12th April moved the Reference signed by President Pratibha Patil in which eight questions have been raised, including whether there could be judicial interference in policy matters, vis-a-vis disposal of natural resources and investments made by foreign investors under multi and bilateral agreements.

"Whether the judgement lays down that the permissible method for disposal of all natural resources across all sectors and in all circumstances is by the conduct of auction," the Reference has stated.

"Whether the court holds that within the permissible scope of judicial review that the policy is flawed, is the court not obliged to take into account investment made under the said policy including the investment made by foreign investors under the multi and bilateral agreements," it said.

It sought the court's opinion on "whether the judgement is required to be given retrospective effect so as to unsettle the licences issued for 2G spectrum and allocated after 1994 till 2008."

The Reference also touched upon the 3G spectrum allocated through "auction" and wanted to know the implications of the judgement on it.

"Whether 3G spectrum acquired through the auction in 2010 by entities whose (2G) licences have been quashed in the judgement stands withdrawn," it asked.

A meeting of the Union Cabinet, chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on 10th April cleared the Telecom Ministry's proposal to seek the Supreme Court's opinion on various issues arising out of the 2 February 2012 judgement.

The two-judge bench, in its verdict, had also observed that auction was best suited route for allocating natural resources like telecom spectrum because the policy of first-come-first-serve was flawed.


DSP BlackRock Dynamic Asset Allocation Fund: Aiming to time the market

Dynamic plans give fund managers the flexibility to time the market but it has not worked that well so far

DSP BlackRock Mutual Fund plans to launch a new fund-DSP BlackRock Dynamic Asset Allocation Fund. According to the offer document filed with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), it would be an open-ended fund of funds scheme where the investment manager will have the discretion to take aggressive asset calls. The fund manager could choose to invest anywhere from 0% to 100% in equity assets; in this case the money would be invested in units of DSP BlackRock (DSPBR) Equity Fund while the rest would be invested in units of DSPBR Strategic Bond Fund and money market securities or liquid schemes of DSPBR.

Dynamic schemes are attempts at market-timing-something that fund companies usually claim should not be done. Not surprisingly, the idea has been hard to implement. The performance of dynamic schemes is difficult to be judged as there is no such index to benchmark their performance. But given their flexibility they are expected to perform better than other schemes or at least give positive returns. DSPBR has chosen the Crisil Balanced Fund index to benchmark the performance of this scheme.

DSPBR Equity Fund is one of the newer schemes of the fund house having been launched less than five years ago. In the last three years the scheme has returned 19.72% compared to the benchmark return of 12.31%. Another scheme which has done well in the past from DSPBR's stable is DSPBR Top 100 Equity Fund. In fact the fund management of DSPBR has done reasonably well with three out of four equity diversified schemes consistently beating the benchmark over the last twelve five-year monthly rolling periods.

But this performance has come without the flexibility of dynamic asset allocation. Will the flexibility be a boon or a bane? Fund managers are skilled in studying a company and buying the stocks for the long-term. Only a rare few, anywhere in the world, are astute market-timers and they apply very sophisticated and proprietary quantitative techniques because no formula works in all market conditions. This would be a tough task, but seeing that this scheme is benchmarked against a balanced fund index, the fund managers would follow a similar allocation, investing around 65% in the equity scheme and the rest in the debt scheme.

Similar funds like ICICI Prudential Dynamic Fund and HSBC Dynamic Fund have had an allocation of 80% to 90% in equity over the last one year. Pramerica Dynamic Fund had a 70% to 75% allocation towards equity in the same period. How have these funds performed? In the last one year when the S&P Nifty returned -10.35%, ICICI Prudential Dynamic Plan performed the best returning -6%. Pramerica Dynamic Fund and HSBC Dynamic Fund returned -8.07% and -9.60% respectively. The Crisil Balanced Fund index returned -3.44% in this period and the Crisil MIP Blended Fund index (15% equity, 85% debt) returned 5.72%. Therefore fund managers of dynamic schemes have not been that adept at using their flexibility in a volatile market.

A better option for the investors would be to rely on a systematic investment plan. Which scheme to choose? A good equity diversified scheme would do the trick. DSPBR Equity Fund has done well and is a deserving candidate for your money.



A S Paranjape

3 years ago

Some facts needs correction.
1. DSPBR equity fund is launched on 29.4.1997 i.e. more than 15 years old and not 5 years.
2.Dynamic asset allocation need not restrict to 65% equity. It has mandate to vary both equity and debt from 10% to 19%
3.No comment is made on the theme i.e. about Yield gap ratio on which the re-balancing will be done.

Raid on cosmetics factories in Kerala; products worth Rs50 lakh seized

The manufacturers have given misleading and wrong advertisements of their products claiming magical cures for certain illnesses and physical conditions

Kochi: In simultaneous raids on "Ayuredic" cosmetic drug manufacturers across Kerala on Thursday, Drug Control authorities seized hair oil, skin-care oil, face creams and other products valued at around Rs50 lakh, reports PTI.

The manufacturing facilities of three brands were raided and cases registered under the Drugs and Cosmetic Act and the Drugs and Magic Remedies (Objectionable advertisements) Act.

Sources said these manufacturers had given misleading and wrong advertisements of their products claiming magical cures for certain illnesses and physical conditions.

Many of these claims were highly exaggerated and there had been complaints that some of these products were harmful to health.

The drug controller's office had received numerous complaints that certain 'ayurvedic' hair oils that claimed to help rich hair growth had actually caused hair fall. Some of the 'ayurvedic' skin-care creams and face lotions had given negative results.

Officials from both the Ayurvedic and allopathic branches of the Drug Controller's office took part in the raids. The seized drugs were produced in Courts in the respective districts, officials said.


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