CVC seeks financial details of works done by govt departments

New Delhi: As part of efforts to check corruption, the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) has sought by early next month financial details of works carried out by different departments during the year for its scrutiny, reports PTI.

The anti-corruption watchdog has directed all central government departments and ministries to submit details of all contracts entered into and payments made to contractors and pending bills.

The Chief Technical Examination Wing of the Commission has set a deadline of 7th January for it.

The departments have been told to furnish all information related to civil and electrical works done by the ministries besides other contracts valued at Rs2 crore or above.

"A circular has been issued on 14th December to chief vigilance officers (CVOs) of all ministries. They have been told to give details of all contracts (including tenders) and civil works. Besides they have asked about financial transactions made to contractor against the work," a CVC official said.

The probity watchdog has specifically sought details of high-value projects, payment details, contractor details, third party examination report and tender documents made in the year.

It has asked for details of mandatory completion certificate, compliance report of CVC's guidelines to check corruption, guarantee bond towards security for work machinery or mobilisation advance, insurance policy for work, material equipment, men etc. and details of pre-contract negotiations among others.

"The Commission came across many irregularities in conduct of different works done by central government departments. However, we timely intimate them to follow our guidelines and check for non-adherence through technical examination," he said.

The Commission has recovered about Rs56 crore after inspecting public procurements and other works carried out by different agencies till November.

The CVC has found alleged financial and administrative irregularities in over 30 Commonwealth Games projects in the national capital and overlays deals by the Organising Committee for the mega-sporting event.

Besides, the CVC has found alleged bunglings in the allocation of 2G spectrum to certain telecom companies. The CBI is probing the matter.

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PM expresses willingness to appear before PAC

New Delhi: Prime minister Manmohan Singh today wrote to Public Accounts Committee (PAC) expressing his willingness to appear before the panel which is going into the second generation (2G) spectrum allocation scam, reports PTI.

Following up on his announcement at the Congress plenary session, Mr Singh made the offer in his letter to PAC chairman Murli Manohar Joshi, sources said without elaborating.

Addressing the concluding day of the Congress plenary, Mr Singh had said he would be "happy to appear" before the PAC though there was no precedent and he intended to write to Mr Joshi in this regard.

"I wish to state categorically that I have nothing to hide from the public at large and as a proof of my bonafides I intend to write to the chairman of the PAC that I shall be happy to appear before the PAC, if it chooses to ask me to do so," Mr Singh had said.

Contending that the opposition was "falsely propagating" that government was shying away from joint parliamentary commission (JPC) to prevent the prime minister from appearing before it, Mr Singh said he has "nothing to hide from the public".

Mr Singh's letter to the PAC comes on a day when the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG), whose report on a presumed loss of Rs1.76 lakh crore to the exchequer in 2G spectrum allocation created a storm in Parliament, will appear before the PAC.

The PAC will continue with its examination of the controversial allocation of 2G radio waves and Comptroller and Auditor General Vinod Rai is expected to put forth his point-of-view before the panel.

The CAG report has proved to be quite an ammunition for the opposition, including the BJP and Left parties, to target the government and it is insisting that only a JPC can bring out the truth in what they allege is the "biggest scam in independent India".

The entire opposition stalled proceedings in the month-long Winter Session of Parliament on the demand for JPC into the 2G spectrum scam that resulted in a washout of the session.

The decision to ask Mr Rai to appear before the powerful parliamentary committee was taken during its last meeting earlier this month. The committee has already invited views and suggestions on the 2G spectrum allocation.

A Raja, who has been questioned by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with alleged irregularities in the spectrum allocation, was forced to resign on 14th November as telecom minister.

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BSE IPO Index is down 2% since launch; Sensex is up 28%

When the BSE introduced the IPO index, it hoped to capture “the current primary market conditions and measure the growth in investor’s wealth”. Strangely, we find there has been a decrease in wealth in the post-listing period. Why?

Initial Public Offerings (IPOs)are a great opportunity for promoters to sell shares at a very high price and for the investing public to make some listing gains if possible. Buying a stock that has just got listed after an IPO is a foolish idea. While a Moneylife study has proven this (Read 'How to play the IPO game'), here is one more evidence. The BSE IPO index has performed badly since its launch on 24 August 2009. The index closed at 1947.54 on the day of its launch. On Friday, exactly 16 months since its launch, the BSE IPO index was at 1,908.90, down almost 40 points. In the same period, the Sensex is up by 28%.

The Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) launched the BSE IPO index to track the value of the companies listing subsequent to a successful completion of an IPO. The index currently has 72 companies. But this figure is continually changing, depending on how many companies are listed, as an IPO company is kept on the index only for two years.



What does the poor performance of the IPO index indicate? Simply that one should avoid buying a stock after listing, especially when the IPO pipeline is robust. When the BSE introduced the BSE IPO index, it hoped to capture "the current primary market conditions in the Indian capital market and measure the growth in investor's wealth within a period of two years after listing of a company, subsequent to successful completion of an initial public offering (IPO)." As the index shows, there has been no "growth in investor's wealth" post-listing. The BSE, like everybody else blindly assumed that investor's wealth usually grows post-listing. This happens only in exceptional circumstances-when IPOs are made in a depressed market.

The BSE went on to argue, "robust growth of the Indian economy, 6.7% in 2008-09, and the expectation of higher growth in the future are expected to boost the primary market. For this and other reasons, it was an appropriate time to introduce to the market an indicator that will track primary market conditions in the Indian capital market." The "boost" in the primary market that the BSE is talking of is only the exorbitant high prices at which promoters are able to sell their IPOs, making sure that the index does not perform, contrary to the BSE's hopes!

Moneylife spoke to a few experts, all of whom said that high valuation of the IPOs is the main reason for the poor performance of the index. "Most of the IPOs come with high valuation. So there is a possibility that a majority of them will not give much returns," said the vice-president of the research unit of a leading brokerage firm who requested anonymity. This view was echoed by Rajesh Jain, executive vice-president (retail research), Religare Securities Limited: "High valuations are one of the main reasons for the index to fall." He argued that the movement of the secondary market was another reason for the downtrend in the IPO index. "Since its launch, the BSE IPO suffered a small dip then remained steady. From March 2010, it went up and did well till mid-September, reaching almost 2,340 levels. In November, there was a sense that the market would correct. This took a toll on the IPO index and it's been down since," Mr Jain explained.

According to Vivek Mahajan, head of research with Aditya Birla Money Ltd, over the past couple of months, most of the IPOs which have hit the market have performed miserably, including government sponsored ones. Aggressively high valuations of IPOs is leaving nothing on the table for investors. This is the reason for the poor performance of the index.

The fact is that, usually, IPOs are bad bets if you buy them after listing.  The Moneylife study 'How to play the IPO game' (a research and analysis of 107 companies that have listed in the past three years), concluded that investors should avoid IPOs after listing. In the report we provided three scenarios for an investor to invest in IPOs, out of which only one is a winning strategy and the other two are not.

The first option, 'Buy and hold for the long term', leads to losses. According to our research, 60 out of the 107 companies that have listed in the past three years are now trading below their issue price. A 44% chance of making money on one's investment is hardly encouraging.

The second option, 'Buy at listing and hold on to the investment' again doesn't help. Our research suggested that of the 107 public issues over the past three years, as many as 65 are now trading below their listed price, giving investors only a 39% chance of getting something back on their investment in this scenario. This explains why the BSE IPO index is down.

The third option, which is a wining strategy, is 'Playing the flipping game', that means subscribing and then flipping it on the first day. Our research showed that an astounding 95 stocks that hit the market in the past three years got listed above their issue price. This gives the investor has an 89% chance of adding value to his investment on the listing day itself.

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COMMENTS

Vinay Isloorkar

6 years ago

27.12.10

Have you seen the " teen patti " racket that goes on on the Rly overbridges in Mumbai? The tout and his cronies gather to form a dummy crowd to corner the interest of the gullible. The tout lets a couple of his cronies win to establish credibility and then the gullible public is ripped off. Anything different here?

Ravindra Shetye

6 years ago

With no regulation to talk about on deciding the IPO prices this is what is to be expected. 'What the market can bear' works well when there are buyers who are capable of making intelligent and studied investment decision. Not for the 'Market' which works on herd mentality and brainwashing done by the publicity. Reliance Power IPO is an excellent example.
Ultimately the 'herd' market will start loosing confidence in stocks and will turn to other avenues. If IPO gambling does not reward them, they will turn to other kinds of gambling.

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