Companies & Sectors
Centre open to TN govt’s offer on Neyveli divestment: Finance minister

“We have an open mind. We are disinvesting in Neyveli only for one reason, mainly to comply with the SEBI regulations. If there is another way to comply with SEBI regulation why should I shut my mind to that? Finance minister P Chidambaram said

The Centre will consider the Tamil Nadu government’s offer to buy 5% shares of the proposed disinvestment of public sector Neyveli Lignite Corporation (NLC) and sought to assuage employees’ concerns, saying there will be no change in management or staff policies.

 

“I have read about it (Tamil Nadu government’s offer) in the newspapers. I have not seen the letter (written by chief minister Jayalalithaa),” finance minister P Chidambaram said on Monday.

 

“The letter, I believe, is addressed to the prime minister. The copy of the letter has not come to me but assuming that is what the letter says, I will ask the Capital Markets division to quickly consult SEBI (Securities and Exchange Board of India) whether that would amount to compliance with the SEBI regulations,” he said.

 

“We have an open mind. We are disinvesting in Neyveli only for one reason, mainly to comply with the SEBI regulations. If there is another way to comply with SEBI regulation why should I shut my mind to that? I am willing to consider that option but I will have to consult SEBI,” Chidambaram said.

 

Asked about workers’ threat to go on strike against the disinvestment, Chidambaram said, “But why should they go on strike. There is a suggestion (of the Tamil Nadu government), we have not rejected it. We will consider it (and) if that’s a feasible suggestion we will accept it.”

 

“Be that as it may, what is the reason for a strike,” he asked.

 

“We are complying with the law. How can you say that the government should not comply with the law? Even after disinvestment, 89% of the shares of Neyveli Lignite will be held by the Government of India and the remaining bulk of it will be held by some public sector institutions—LIC, GIC, etc. So the character of NLC as public sector navratna does not change,” the finance minister said.

 

NLC is facing stiff protests over the disinvestment decision and 17 trade unions have already announced they would go on indefinite strike from the midnight of 3rd July till the decision of disinvestment is withdrawn.

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SAT upholds SEBI’s order in T Spiritual case

SEBI had slapped a penalty of Rs2 lakh on Bengani after its probe had revealed that he along with some other entities had dealt in the scrip of T Spiritual World “in a fraudulent and manipulative manner” from 12 July 2004 to 4 February 2005

The Securities and Appellate Tribunal (SAT) has upheld the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) order against an individual related to fraudulent trading in T Spiritual World shares but has reduced the penalty imposed on him to Rs1 lakh from Rs2 lakh.

 

“We do not see any legal infirmity in the order passed by the respondent (SEBI) against the appellant (Vikas Ganeshmal Bengani) but keeping in view the totality of the facts and circumstances of the case and submissions made at the Bar, we reduce the penalty to Rs1 lakh while upholding rest of the order against the appellant,” SAT said in its order dated 26th June.

 

In September 2012, SEBI had slapped a penalty of Rs2 lakh on Bengani after its probe had revealed that he along with some other entities had dealt in the scrip of T Spiritual World “in a fraudulent and manipulative manner” from 12 July 2004 to 4 February 2005.

 

These trades had created false and misleading appearance of trading, artificial volume and price manipulation in the scrip facilitating the promoters to offload their stake.

 

Thereafter, Bengani had approached the SAT challenging SEBI’s order.

 

SAT noted that SEBI’s “adjudicating officer himself has not found two main charges against the appellant sustainable”.

 

“However, the appellant appears to be having some connection with some of the promoter group members and only for this the appellant has been held to be guilty of violating the law in this regard,” it added.

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Arrogant SEBI’s response to RTI is shocking

SEBI once again adopts an anti-investor attitude by flatly rejecting an RTI on the basis that it “would lead to diversion of the resources of the public authority”, which according to a former CIC, is absurd and untenable

Shailesh Gandhi, former Central Information Commissioner (CIC), is shocked to hear of Securities Exchange Board of India (SEBI) refusal to give information to Moneylife’s Right to Information (RTI) application. Mr Gandhi said, “The information sought which SEBI claims it is on its website, hence using Section 7(9) of RTI Act is absurd. Section 7(9) cannot be a ground for denial of information. SEBI PIO is completely wrong. It is unfortunate that the SEBI PIO is taking such an untenable position.” Moneylife had filed an RTI seeking information on portfolio management services (PMS), in electronic format. Rather than simply providing PMS information on a CD or pen drive, SEBI refused to give information by invoking Section 7(9) of the RTI Act and stated: “PMS Monthly report has already been uploaded on the SEBI website and is therefore in public domain. Collating the information and providing the same to you would lead to diversion of the resources of public authority.”
 

Section 7(9) of the RTI Act states: “An information shall ordinarily be provided in the form in which it is sought unless it would disproportionately divert the resources of the public authority or would be detrimental to the safety or preservation of the record in question.” Does this mean that merely giving information on a CD or a pen drive would “lead to diversion of the resources” or for that matter “be detrimental to the safety” of the records? If SEBI wants to maintain that the information sought is on their (extremely slow) website, what prevents them from providing the same upon inspection or even upon payment for CD?
 

Earlier, SEBI had uploaded information, on PMS companies, in a manner that was inaccessible and did not allow comparison of the performance of various schemes. This was also in response to a Moneylife RTI which we had fought hard for over a year. Not only is the site frustratingly slow, the information is not downloadable. At this rate, it is simply not feasible for a common investor to compare 250 PMS companies within an hour let alone a single day. It will take the average investor weeks to collect ‘incomplete’ information of just 100 PMS companies. It is pertinent to note that SEBI has not uploaded long-term performances of PMS companies on their website, and therefore information is ‘incomplete’. For more details on this, you can access our full exclusive story here: SEBI’s system of reporting PMS data continues to be frustratingly anti-investor. This prompted us to visit SEBI’s premises and seek for entire PMS information in electronic format (i.e. CD or pen drive).
 

Moneylife team visited the premises of SEBI to seek information of PMS companies in electronic format. Upon visiting the premises we did not meet the public information officer (PIO). Instead, the Assistant General Manager, SEBI, Aman Jain, met us but had little or no clue about Section 4. He didn’t know if SEBI had the information on PMS companies in electronic format. He asked us to file a fresh RTI, under Section 6, which we did.
 

SEBI not only did not entertain an onsite inspection of records (i.e. Section 4), it also stonewalled our fresh RTI application (Section 6) in which SEBI has shockingly refused to give information in CD format, citing that the information sought after was very “vague and not specific”! (In our RTI application, we were very specific and even cited the link where information was kept—http://www.sebi.gov.in/sebiweb/investment/PMRReport.jsp). They went on invoke Section 7(9) of the RTI Act.
 

Nagesh Kini, a prominent social activist, says, “This is total contradictory to the way BrihanMumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC) functions, which is friendly when it comes to providing information. They even entertain the public under Section 4 of the RTI Act. They provide you a room, table and all the material and files, allow you to mark the documents you want copied and even provide you with the Xerox facility.” According to a recent news report, the BMC fields the largest number of RTIs in the state, with nearly 1.02 lakh applications, or 16% of the total RTIs filed in Maharashtra.
 

Section 4 of the RTI Act, and its sub-sections, clearly state that information should be easily accessible and should be even provided in the format or medium it has been sought.
 

Section 4(4) states: “All materials shall be disseminated taking into consideration the cost effectiveness, local language and the most effective method of communication in that local area and the information should be easily accessible, to the extent possible in electronic format with the Central Public Information Officer or State Public Information Officer, as the case may be, available free or at such cost of the medium or the print cost price as may be prescribed.” (emphasis ours)
 

Section 4(3) states:  "For the purposes of sub-section (1), every information shall be disseminated widely and in such form and manner which is easily accessible to the public."

Explanation.—For the purposes of sub-sections (3) and (4), ‘disseminated’ means making known or communicated the information to the public through notice boards, newspapers, public announcements, media broadcasts, the internet or any other means, including inspection of offices of any public authority.”(emphasis ours)
 

Section 4(1) of the RTI Act, 2005 states: “Every public authority shall maintain all its records duly catalogued and indexed in a manner and the form which facilitates the right to information under this Act and ensure that all records that are appropriate to be computerised are, within a reasonable time and subject to availability of resources, computerised and connected through a network all over the country on different systems so that access to such records is facilitated.”
 

Furthermore, Section 4(2) states: “It shall be a constant endeavour of every public authority to take steps in accordance with the requirements of clause (b) of sub-section (1) to provide as much information suo motu to the public at regular intervals through various means of communications, including internet, so that the public have minimum resort to the use of this Act to obtain information.”
 

The fact that SEBI refused to provide information under both Section 4 and Section 6 shows the callous attitude of the market regulator towards consumers and Indian citizens. In the meantime, investors will need to spend over one week just to obtain (incomplete) information on PMS companies on SEBI’s excruciatingly slow website.
 

Moneylife plans to file a first appeal.

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COMMENTS

Mahesh Khanna

4 years ago

It is not shocking that SEBI arrogance in reply to RTI application.It is become a practice of CPIO's of various regulatory authorities to avoid giving replies to RTI Application.
Slowly and steadily the RTI is losing its sting and is dying a premature death.The CPIO's are aware that it is easy to frustrate the applicant by giving the information,since it would take more than one year till the final disposal of his appeal before the CIC.

Sandeepan Bose

4 years ago

I have'nt gone through all the reports for all the institutions but it appears there are very few individuals / institutions that us the PMS facility. Originally the lower limit for participation in PMS for individuals was 10 lacs which was increased to 25 lacs .... apparently Finanace Ministry wanted to limit the exposure of people to risk or rather found this a headache for governanace. I guess these funds do not have the acumen that Hedge Funds have globally ... that is what I conclude by the low participation. Anybody has anty idea how these schemes perform ?

REPLY

sathyacumaran

In Reply to Sandeepan Bose 4 years ago

its not pms under the guide of pms all the investors fund is misused by the stock broker if the investor is online client his account is mapped in offline and viceversa this racket is main business of most of the stock broker and loss is booked to investors and profit is booked to broking house we donot know whether there with in the stock broking house the trading without nse bseand sebi knowledge as an whole once this scaM COMES OUT IN MEDIA THIS WOULD BE INDIA BIGGEST SCAM SINCE INDEPENDENCE BUT THIS WOULD BE FINAL CALL FOR INDIAN STOCK MARKET AND PEOPLE WOULD DESIST FROM INVESTING IN THE MARKET HENCE THE DELAY


SATHYA CUMARAN

sathyacumaran

4 years ago

ITS HIGH TIME THAT THE GOVT SHOULD TIGHTEN THE BELTS OF GOVT INSTITUTIONS SUCH SEBI NSE BSE FROM THE HANDS OF CORRUPTION BECAUSE THE POLITICAL CORRUPTION COULD BE CURTAILED BY ELECTION PROCESS BUT THE OFFICIAL CORRUPTION IS LIKE AN LEACH AND THIS WOULD GO GOVT AFTER GOVT AND THEY WOULD NOT BE QUESTIONED EVEN IF THEY ARE QUESTION THEIR COLLEGUE WOULD COME FOR SUPPORT AND IF AT THEY WOULD GO FOR VRS AND SAME RETIREMENT BENEFITS WOULD BE GIVEN SO INORDER TO CURB THE INSTITUTIONAL CORRUPTION THE OFFICIALS SHOULD BE STRICTLY PUNISHED AND RULE SHOULD BE DRAFTED IN SUCH MANNER THAT THEIR RETIREMENT BENEFITS IS CURBED AND FURTHER THEY SHOULD NOT REEMPLOYED IF THE RULE IS BROUGHT THEN ONLY INDIAN ADMINISTRATION COULD KEEP UP IT DIGINITY OTHERWISE WE AS AN JOURNALIST WE HAVE EXPOSE THIS ADMINISTRATIVE LAPSES BEFORE MEDIA AND CHANNEL AND THIS WOULD BE BEGINING AND SERIES OF OTHER DEPARTMENT WOULD FOLLOW


SATHYA CUMARAN

uttamkumar dubey

4 years ago

All the above plights points to poor governance and completely Opaque-irresponsible and unaccountable situation.

And the root cause lies in the weak or no will power by our Legislative bodies,judiciary,and media.

So please discourage this Congress-BJP nexus, and come out openly with family and friends (Keeping ones useless ego or sickness at home)to support Kejriwal. Please give him a clear mandate, anyways he may not be worse than congress-bjp.

Moneylife, request you to pls. extend your support to kejriwal news and views and connect him to this forum.

Your goals are no different from him.

rgds,
uttam

RAMESH VASWANI

4 years ago

We totally agree with your contention, and the matter must be continued to be taken up to its logical conclusion.

All the Best.

sathyacumaran

4 years ago

sebi not only answering to RTI but they donot do justice to the investor what ever complaints we lodged its never heard at all as this only insitution for indian investor they are stuck with sebi arrogant attitude nobody even bother to look into any case lodged with by individual investors as such we feel our basic legtimate right of representation had been misused by sebi we are not sure whether we are in an democractic country or dicatator because sebi and nse bse act as agent of stock brokers in india and infact the employees of sebi nse bse are just puppets in the hands of stock brokers and all the case lodged by stock broker is promptly heard and result is delivered in their favour because after the retirement of sebi or nse bse officials these eretired employees get placed in these broking firms with good position with fat salary apart from pension which they get apart from fringe benefits they derived during their tenure we are not hear to find fault with sebi or nse bse but we are helpless ingetting justice so this comment

sathya cumaran

mm sundram

4 years ago

after all what will be amount the sebi going to spent for providing this and how it will amount the diversion of resources. nobody in the sebi attending the phone in the morning from 10 to 12.30AM and evening after 3.30PM and inbetween the lunch time is one hour. SEBI wasting and spending the hard earned monies from the TAX payers and of course this info which sought for only the TAX paying public and what the sebi officials going to lose. WE should protest vigorously for this callous attitude.,

VK

4 years ago

Being reasonably familiar with many website technologies and backends, it will be good for one to be curious and investigative on how exactly they maintain integrity of their webpage contents, how they manage their content updates, and how such processes they do are audit worthy for reliably referencing the website contents on a given calendar date in the past. My 2p of inputs just in case it is useful. Regards, VK

Pradeep R Hattangadi

4 years ago

The reaction is because Moneylife has caught SEBI with its pants down. What you have asked may not even in the realm of the thinking of the people working in SEBI

Siva

4 years ago

Oh yes, as if they are coming down heavily on insider trading & other malpractices which are rampant in the markets. This needs to be labeled as the most stupid and absurd response a PIO can come with. I hope the other govt agencies haven't noticed this response. If SEBI takes such a stance, a day is not far when a Mutual fund would say that it cannot process my redemption request since it cannot divert any of its personnel for processing the claim.

~My sincere plea to the govt., please scrap this RTI sham. It will save a lot of blushes for you and your citizens. RTI is only leading to anguish and frustration. We are better off not knowing the rot and arrogance of the system
~~ Have recently filed an RTI with RBI. Have a feeling that Section 8(1) will be quoted even though there is a CIC order against the use of the same for that specific info.
~~~Mangoman from a truly truly banana republic.

Nilesh KAMERKAR

4 years ago

Perhaps, one of the most non-serious players in the Indian Capital Markets.

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