Regulations
Retired teachers selling ‘simple’ & ‘performing’ schemes: Another harebrained idea from SEBI

SEBI wants to create a new category of fund sellers: Postal agents, retired teachers, retired government and semi-government officials who will sell units of ‘simple’ and ‘performing’ mutual fund schemes. The concept and the definition of these two terms should rank pretty high in the list of harebrained ideas from regulators

The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) recently passed a circular that sharply increases charges for mutual fund investors. This by far is the worst we have seen from the market watchdog. Apart from penalising long-term investors (Read: Mutual funds to be expensive from 1st October ) SEBI’s circular also states “A new cadre of distributors, such as postal agents, retired government and semi-government officials (class III and above or equivalent) with a service of at least 10 years, retired teachers with a service of at least 10 years, retired bank officers with a service of at least 10 years, and other similar persons (such as bank correspondents) as may be notified by AMFI/AMC from time to time, shall be allowed to sell units of simple and performing mutual fund schemes.”
 

Now what is SEBI’s ‘simple’ and ‘performing’ mutual fund schemes? SEBI has helpfully defined it: “diversified equity schemes, fixed maturity plans (FMPs) and index schemes.” If SEBI considers diversified equity schemes as simple, we wonder why SEBI has not included debt income schemes and liquid schemes as well and which are not complex? And FMPs were the main cause of distress for investors and SEBI in the 2008 crash, which wiped out a fund house.
 

But what is even more intriguing is the second part of the idea. The schemes “should have returns equal to or better than their scheme benchmark returns during each of the last three years.” (our emphasis). This criterion for selecting schemes is not only wrong but investing in certain schemes based on this can be harmful to one’s investment. And what’s worse is that this would be the investments of hard earned money of savers from small towns and cities who would invest on the trusted advice of ‘government’ employees, postal agents, teachers and ‘senior’ bank officers.
 

Schemes that beat their benchmark in each of the last three years are not necessarily consistent performers. Take for example the scenario in August 2007, had one planned to invest at that time there would have been funds like SBI Magnum Global Fund 94, Reliance Vision and DSP BlackRock India Tiger Fund among the list of schemes that beat their benchmark on each of the last three years. What happened subsequently?

  • In the following year itself the schemes fell by 10% to 17% whereas their benchmarks had fallen by just 3% to 5%.
     
  • In fact none of these three schemes made it to the list in any of the subsequent years till now based on the same criteria.
     
  • Half of the schemes present in that year never met the criteria for the following year. This is one reason why we emphasise that while selecting a scheme one should focus on long-term consistence performance.
     

Let’s take the most recent period just for making our point clear.
 

  • At the end of August last year there were 51 equity diversified schemes that met the criteria of the SEBI circular.
     
  • The following year as many as 18 schemes failed to beat their benchmark and around eight schemes delivered negative returns compared to their benchmarks which were positive.
     

Here are some more issues that show how foolish SEBI’s idea of ‘performing’ schemes is.
 

  • Returns are always considered point-to-point. We have explained the fallacy of taking returns over a fixed period (read it here Three reasons why S&P-CRISIL’s rating of mutual funds based on fixed period is flawed ). Here even though the performance over each of the last three years is taken it is not enough.
     
  • Some good schemes may have failed to outperform their benchmark for just one particular period that too by a negligible amount. If we apply the above mandate it would mean the particular good scheme would fail to make it to the list of “simple and performing” schemes. Take for example HDFC Top 200, it marginally underperformed its benchmark in August 2007 by one percentage point (the scheme had returned 31% compared to the BSE 200 which returned 32%). This would mean it would not be present on the list of schemes for that year and the following two years even though it substantially outperformed its benchmark in the following two years.
     

And as long as SEBI allows fund companies to charge 1.5% on index funds, allowing retired teachers to sell index funds to the masses is patently doing severe harm.
 

Would the retired government officials be able to do their own research and select the top schemes or would they just push the schemes that would earn them higher incentives? Who would be responsible if investors lost their hard-earned money by investing in the wrong scheme? After all, SEBI has only found new ways to bribe mutual funds companies to reach them, not protect their interests with appropriate metrics and making fund houses and sellers accountable.
 

Bureaucrats who run the regulatory bodies come up ideas that are well-meaning but senseless because of their tendency to bring in value judgements that have little to do with reality. In 1992 when Dr Manmohan Singh declared that foreign funds would be allowed to invest in India, he said only ‘reputed’ institutions would be allowed to invest here. Dr Singh’s value judgement looked ridiculous and even more so with the reputation of Wall Street firms like Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Citi and Morgan Stanley in tatters after their role in sub-prime crisis of 2007-08 came to light.
 

We suspect that this breathtakingly silly idea will remain stillborn like many other ivory-tower ideas of regulators. This is simply because it is not possible to implement it and neither will there be any takers for it.

User

COMMENTS

Pankaj Kapadia

4 years ago

FMPs are simple. How? Because no returns are printed and given. I wonder what would those govt employees answer if asked how much return FMP would generate and what are tax implications?. Honestly we have no reliable answer.
Index funds AUM if you go to see is hardly anything. In fact they should be given monopoly to sell such funds. I also wonder why refresher courses are required for existing ifas... if there are SIMPLE MUTUAL FUND SCHEMES available.

mam chand aggarwal

4 years ago

This is unnecessary hue and cry ,Please ask the investors who put their hard earnings 4-5 years ago in mutual funds,what is their condition now ? they were promised
to get the profit earning at least @ 15 % but they have lost their most of the principle amount also.
Who is responsible ? The shops of mutual funds may please be closed to any further financial loss to the investors and save them from mental agony.The bank FDs are much more better and with ensured income

H Doshi

4 years ago

hanks for the article and the research. Wonder how the retired history, chemistry and biology teachers are going to first,self understand the past, investment combination in a fund and the life strength of a fund? Experience of their past in classes considered similar to the fund classes, by SEBI?

AJIT SRIVASTAVA

4 years ago

SEBI has miss the target what i feel , i dont thing this is the smart solution to protect the investor's interest. whereas my view is that on issue that the SEBI has now implement the regulation for advisory model.

Krishna Gopal Gupta

4 years ago

SEBI itself is allowing to MISSELL & MISREPRESENT MF Schemes to new investors, why? The motive is to be found out. Probably, they might have got a huge sum of money to push this class of people. Further, what is wrong then with the AMFI Certified IFAs, who are not only earning their bread but are also feeding AMFI, NISM, AMCs and Investors besides their own family members needs to be answered by SEBI?

Jayant

4 years ago

Apart from all this are these guys supposed to check everyday for the performance of every scheme for the last three years, to date? At the cost of repitition I will say it again that this is what happens when you try to fix things when they are not broken. If these hairbrained people are supposed to look after the interests of the investors, then God save the investor.

mam chand aggarwal

4 years ago

there is no need of appointing new distributors / retired teachers . the officials sitting in AMCs have got issued ARN in favour of their family members.

Samraj

4 years ago

Excellent and well researched. What about new found theory of "Direct" investments cheaper for all existing and new investments? In what way this will benefit AMC? SEBI is bringing one or the other at frequent intervals only to harm the industry than helping to survive. IFAs role in promoting the sales are of paramount importance and they should be encouraged. My request to you is to put concerted efforts to prevail upon SEBI to help grow MF in India.

Bharat Bhushan

4 years ago

For such bizarre idea, each of the advisory commitee member and current SEBI Chairman and Director and AMC CEO should take upon themselves a mandatory target to rope in minimum 25 such distributors from amongst there near and dear ones (relatives - there must be many aspiring) in this cadre who accomplish minimum mobilisation of Rs. 1 crores and 50 new investors each in next one year and then publicly publish the experience.

What happens if any of their investors wishes to invest/ switch into any scheme out of this selected set ? Do they say "No" ? Who shall be responsible for this ?

Will there be a separate fact sheet and CAF of such schemes ?

Go one step further - If the scheme fails to meet the criteria next year - Do automatic redemption !

mam chand aggarwal

4 years ago

The AMCs have grabbed the poor investors hard earnings in connivance with SEBI.Both are enjoying on public money .They are suggesting new frauds with old aged persons to overlook the old grabbing .

arun adalja

4 years ago

sebi is trying to correct his mistakes by creating foolish idea.and wasting time of the elderly retired persons by moving out in streets for small amount by selling junk mutual fund schemes.

mam chand aggarwal

4 years ago

MFs are nothing but junk food due to highly paid fund managers sitting in AC cabins without minds

A COMMON INDIAN MAN

4 years ago

yah baat ab sabit ho gayi hai ki SEBI ki office me gadho(donkey) ki jamat baithi hai kyoki gadhe hi itni betuki ghatiya salah de sakte hai.

Nilesh KAMERKAR

4 years ago

1) Performing Schemes: Somebody seems to have forgotten, past performance is no guarantee of future returns . . . used to be a risk factor disclosure till very recently. Like changing traffic, performing schemes keep on changing. Otherwise, we would have had a list of some common schemes performing this miracle continuously.

2) Rewarding Tracking error? How can a passively managed Index fund be expected to outperform the underlying benchmark? It can only happen if the fund manager, managing the Index Fund is incompetent. i.e. he is unable to replicate the index portfolio. Index funds have costs attached to them while an index has no cost, thus how can we expect an Index fund to do better than the underlying index?

3) New Cadre of distributors: It is one more attempt at trying to figure out what does not work. As things stand, it will be difficult to enroll new agents (After having witnessed the plight of MF sellers, who will now want to join the ranks? And for what?) . By creating this cadre of retirees, are we trying to convert a full time profession into a post retirement hobby? How many retirees will be willing to go ‘out of pocket’, spending their princely pension for promoting mutual funds? Their upfront compensation shall be less than a stipend.

REPLY

Sucheta Dalal

In Reply to Nilesh KAMERKAR 4 years ago

Excellent points Mr Kamerkar .... very thoughtful. It makes me want to be a fly on the wall and listen to the discussions at SEBI's advisory committees, that end up with such bizarre schemes being approved and publicised.
Funnily, the mutual fund industry, which is already so badly damaged by such mindless and knee-jerk actions remains silent.
The new rally in stock indices will ensure there is no discussion either!

Nilesh KAMERKAR

In Reply to Sucheta Dalal 4 years ago

Thanks Ma’am,

About SEBI’s advisory committee: Do not wish to take names, though . . .
A few from that list of 14, which makes the committee are ‘single handedly’ capable of advising SEBI on reviving the MF industry. And make it robust.

It is depressing when such leading lights of the MF industry have collectively let the opportunity slip – some of them have spent most of their professional lives ‘nurturing the MF industry’ while creating wealth for their investors & a solid reputation for themselves.

Like it happens in committees, here too there are those who masquerade as crusaders of investor protection, but in reality are feasting off the same retail investor’s hard earned savings in mutual funds ( and in more ways than one). They may be here for their nuisance value & personal agenda. Mutual funds revival can continue to wait.

While one understands the difficulty of making things simple, but, it is kind of weird when complicated measures get announced as simple.

Economy & Nation Exclusive
India allows FDI in multi-brand retail and aviation, finally

Signalling a major change in its intention to go ahead with key reforms, the government has approved FDI in multi-brand retail and aviation and also gave its nod for disinvestment in four PSUs

 

In a major decision, the Indian government on Friday approved foreign direct investment (FDI) in multi-brand retail, aviation sector and broadcast services while permitting divestment in four state-run companies including NALCO, MMTC, Hindustan Copper and Oil India. While operationalising the 51% FDI in retail, the Union Government left it to the state governments to allow setting up of such stores.

The decisions are being interpreted as a major signal from the government of its intention to go ahead with key reforms negating an image of policy paralysis. The decision to allow 51% FDI in retail will be a game-changer for the estimated $590 billion (Rs29.50 lakh crore) retail market dominated by neighbourhood stores.

According to experts, this move would benefit large retailers like Pantaloon, Bharti Retail as well as consumer, who can expect prices to come down by 10-15% in large format stores. Retail giants will play a significant role in improving supply and distribution systems in the country with economies of scale, superior expertise and trained staff, feel the experts.

For single-brand retail, the Cabinet decided that any firm seeking waiver of the mandatory 30 per cent local sourcing norms would have to set up a manufacturing facility in the country, said a Union minister, who asked not to be identified after the cabinet meeting. He said since the implementation of the decision (FDI in multi-brand retail) was put on hold, it had to go to the Cabinet again before going ahead with the decision.

The Cabinet also allowed FDI in aviation by foreign carriers. It also raised the FDI cap on various streams of broadcast services by up to 74%.

Earlier in November last year, the Cabinet decided to remove the 51% cap on FDI in single brand format under which companies in food, lifestyle and sports business run stores. The big retailers were required to bring in minimum investment of $100 million, of which half should be in the back-end infrastructure like cold chains, processing and packaging. These players would have to source at least 30% of manufactured and processed products from small-scale units.

Anticipating the move to allow FDI, retail stocks, including Pantaloon Retail, Provogue India and Koutons Retail, rose 2-8%. Shares of Future Group company Pantaloon Retail jumped 6.9% to settle at Rs157.60, while Provogue India climbed 6.6% to Rs16.04 on the BSE. Among others, Brandhouse Retails soared 8%, Koutons Retail India gained 4.9%, Shoppers Stop (2.8%) and Tata Group retail unit Trent (2.3%) also notched up smart gains.

Similarly, shares of aviation companies like Kingfisher Airlines, SpiceJet and Jet Airways soared up to 8% on the BSE. Kingfisher Airlines settled 7.9% higher at Rs10.81, SpiceJet rose 4.4% to close at Rs34.50 while Jet Airways shares gained 2% to close the day at Rs368.35. The BSE benchmark Sensex ended 443.11 points higher at 18,464.27.

Currently, international retailers are already present in India through their cash and carry model (selling to other retailers and business establishments), where 100% FDI is allowed. Wal-Mart runs its cash and carry business in partnership with Bharti Retail, Tesco runs its cash and carry business in partnership with Trent, owned by the Tata Group.

According to a retail report authored by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and CII, current size of organized retail in India stands at close to $28 billion or 6%-7% of total retail market. The total retail market is estimated to grow to $1,250 billion by 2020, of which 21% would be organized. With added capital investments from key overseas players, the sector would have the potential to significantly impact the Indian economy, the report said.

 
Foreign airlines can now pick up 49 per cent stake in India's domestic carriers, a step that is expected to give a boost to cash-strapped aviation industry.

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) also approved the proposal to allow foreign carriers to buy 49% stake in domestic airlines. "The cabinet today approved the proposal of allowing foreign airlines to pick up to 49 per cent stakes in Indian carrier. Though FDI of upto 49%, 75% and 100% was there in aviation sector, foreign airlines were not allowed," Civil Aviation Minister Ajit Singh told reporters after the meeting.

Current FDI norms allow foreign investors, not related to airline business, to directly or indirectly own an equity stake of up to 49% in Indian carrier.

Allowing foreign airlines to pick up stakes in Indian carriers has been a long-pending demand of the aviation sector.

User

COMMENTS

indraneel

4 years ago

All those who are opposed to FDI in retail are simply trying to gain political mileage out of it.

In the 53 cities that have been identified, have they ever asked the kirana store owner, whether he makes a profit every year? What with corrupt officers from various government departments [VAT/SALES TAX, FOOD AND DRUG ADMIN, WEIGHTS AND MEASURES] paying regular visits for harassment and subsequent bribes. Are the
Kirana store owners aware of the extent of loss due to pilferage, shortage and wastage due to rodents? There is a tradition of customers buying kirana stuff on credit from the shop. What is the percentage of bad accounts every year? How many licenses and permits does the kirana store owner has to obtain and maintain?

In this big cities, are the kirana shopowners able to find labour for a 12 hour duty?

Has anybody asked the kiranawalla’s grownup children, whether they are going to continue their traditional business of kirana stores after finishing school/college ? They don’t want to smell of ghee and oil and garam masala!

The days when all the family members used to lend a hand from morning to night in running the kirana store are over. Firstly, families have become smaller. Secondly, young members of the family are away at school or college or coaching classes. So, you think the shopowner can single handedly run his shop at a profit?

In these big cities, isn’t the number of small kirana stores being converted to more glamorous retail outlets for mobile handsets, eyewear, ice cream parlours, readymade garments, footwear, faux jewellery etc ? It can be proved that all these lines are more profitable than kirana.

If the small kirana shop owners themselves are not complaining what are you guys shouting about?

Have, Mamatadi or Mayawati or Jayalaitha or Mr Jetley ever spent half an hour at a kirana store and observed what their problems are ? Can the kirana Shopowner buy directly from the farmer and sell the stuff? NO. There are so many middlemen.

When the political parties side with the hawkers, they conveniently forget their ( now) favourites, small shopkeepers.

VIKAS SIVARAMAN

4 years ago

That our largely somnambulant PM has finally shown some signs of waking up is shocking and it does raise some doubts whether he has decided to get off the right side of his bed!
Why reforms in FDI and Airlines? Why not infrastructure? Why not minerals and mining? Why not agriculture? Finance? Education? Or any of the myriad areas that would directly benefit us?
Every economist worth his salt has pointed out that allowing FDI in retail will wipe out small retail businesses. Big retail companies will swallow up or simply crush small retail. While the governments refrain is that it will have beneficial spin offs - employment, investment, competitive pricing etc., let the past hold a torch to their fantasies - how quickly did Indian FMCG goods get wiped off the map? Do you hear more of Godrej and Voltas or are you hearing Samsung and LG? Do you hear Maruti or do you hear Honda? Have you really known of any FMCG goods prices coming down due to competitive bands? Or have you heard more of the prices going up each annual budget due to increase in taxes? So then is the thinking that FDI will lend some much needed financial support to our teetering balance of payment situation ? I wonder which multinational will want to invest here in the current rampantly corrupt political scenario.
Obviously the beneficiaries will be the politicians - and their cohorts - the industrialists. Industry will benefit and make suitable financial contributions to their political masters so that the politicians can then run a financially attractive campaign during the upcoming elections. Notice how the opposition is mum on this whole caper? They are quietly licking their chops. They will benefit from this party's valiant attempts to champion the cause of the common man.
Vijay Malya will probably resurrect his airlines not thanks to the govt's 'enlightened' policy making but in reality due to the NPA roster of the banks that have lent to the airlines industry liberally under a former aviation minister. But now airlines need to have additional funding to stay operational and Indian Banks have gone over any sane reasonable limit a long time back. So now we need the great white god to pump in some money into a hugely mismanaged, failing aviation sector. And pray that it may turn things around so they can recover some of their losses and pay back the banks into which you, Mr Common Man, have deposited your precious hard earned money!. The government, ofcouse, has taken due note and done the needful. The only guy laughing all the way to Switzerland is Praful Patel.
That our largely somnambulant  PM has finally shown some signs of waking up is shocking and  it does raise some doubts whether he has decided to get off the right side of his bed!
Why reforms in FDI and Airlines? Why not infrastructure? Why not minerals and mining? Why not agriculture? Finance? Education? Or any of the myriad areas that would directly benefit us?
Every economist worth his salt has pointed out that allowing FDI in retail will wipe out small retail businesses. Big retail companies will swallow up or simply crush small retail. While the governments refrain is that it will have beneficial spin offs - employment, investment, competitive pricing etc., let the past hold a torch to their fantasies - how quickly did Indian FMCG goods get wiped off the map? Do you hear more of Godrej and Voltas or are you hearing Samsung and LG? Do you hear Maruti or do you hear Honda? Have you really known of any FMCG goods prices coming down due to competitive bands? Or have you heard more of the prices going up each annual budget due to increase in taxes? So then is the thinking that FDI will lend some much needed financial support to our teetering balance of payment situation ? I wonder which multinational will want to invest here in the current rampantly corrupt political scenario. 
Obviously the beneficiaries will be the politicians - and their cohorts - the industrialists. Industry will benefit and make suitable financial contributions to their political masters so that the politicians can then run a financially attractive campaign during the upcoming elections. Notice how the opposition is mum on this whole caper? They are quietly licking their chops. They will benefit from this party's valiant attempts to champion the cause of the common man.
Vijay Malya will probably resurrect his airlines not thanks to the govt's 'enlightened' policy making but in reality due to the NPA roster of the banks that have lent to the airlines industry liberally under a former aviation minister. But now airlines need to have additional funding to stay operational and Indian Banks have gone over any sane reasonable limit a long time back. So now we need the great white god to pump in some money into a hugely mismanaged, failing aviation sector. And pray that it may turn things around so they can recover some of their losses and pay back the banks into which you, Mr Common Man, have deposited your precious hard earned money!. The government, ofcouse, has taken due note and done the needful. The only guy laughing all the way to Switzerland  is Praful Patel.
Unfortunately for the aam janata ignorance is bliss. Why there is no popular opposition - I think it really is time for an uprising - against the blatant disregard by politicians of the common good of the electorate at large baffles me endlessly. It's actually we, the people of this country, who are to blame. We just don't seem to want to defend our general well being any longer. We seem to be perfectly willing to be ruthlessly trampled upon time and again by the very people who we elect to safeguard our well being. Gone are the days when popular uprisings brought governments swiftly to their knees and forced them to execute an even quicker volte face time and again on questionable policies they tried to ram past what they thought was a cerebrally dead electorate. Remember VP Singh and Mandal commission? 
But today all the common man gets is a swift kick in the @&#%s!

Shadi Katyal

4 years ago

Tje question one should ask why is GOI involved in such Permit Raj tactics when it should be out of any public services. Why does GOI has any function or control of FDI in retail or even any industry.Should by now all PSU should be sold or dissolved? Let there be free trade and investment in industry.Let the State Govts decide for any new industry and Ministry of Industry,Commerce etc should be abolished and let people take the benefits of employment etc.
Why is the white elephant AIR INDIA not on the block,not that anyone will invest in it.

Coalgate: Supreme Court seeks Centre's explanation

The Supreme Court also questioned as why the names of politicians and their relatives have cropped up among the alleged illegal allotees of coal blocks in which the policy of "competitive bidding" formulated by the government in 2004 was not followed

 
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Friday refused to entertain Union government's plea not to hear a public interest litigation (PIL) on alleged irregularities in the allocation of coal blocks and sought an explanation whether guidelines were flouted in allotments, reports PTI.
 
The apex court, which turned down the Centre's contention that the petition based on the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG) report which is under the scrutiny of the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Parliament cannot be considered, said "the petitioner has sought to point out illegality and there is nothing wrong in it." 
 
A bench comprising justices RM Lodha and AR Dave said the prayer seeking a direction for alleged "unconstitutional" and "arbitrary" allocation of coal blocks "requires explanation from you (centre) because it is not the distribution of state's property in small scale but it talks about tons of largesse." 
 
Further, the bench questioned as why the names of politicians and their relatives have cropped up among the alleged illegal allotees of coal blocks in which the policy of "competitive bidding" formulated by the government in 2004 was not followed.
 
The bench rejected Solicitor General Rohinton Nariman's contention that the petition based on the CAG report was "premature" as the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) headed by senior BJP leader Murli Manohar Joshi was slated to examine it from 20th September about the correctness of allocation. 
 
"Nevertheless, keeping in view the CAG is a constitutional functionary and whether its report is final or not, it has a value. And here the petitioner has sought to bring point to show illegality and there is nothing wrong.
 
"Least is we concerned with the correctness of report which will be examined by the PAC or Parliament. But we can rely on it (CAG report)," the bench said adding that "these are different exercises (before the court and PAC)." 
 
"There is a difference in the exercise done by the PAC. Parliament and PAC can proceed with the issue on the basis of the CAG report. We don't want to encroach upon their exercise but the petition raises different things altogether. There are sufficient averments which require explanation from you," the court said.
 
Issuing the notice to the Indian Government, the bench also made it clear that it is confining itself only to the aspect of guidelines formulated by the Centre for allocation of coal blocks and directed the Secretary, Ministry of Coal, file a detailed affidavit within eight weeks on the guidelines and policies followed on the subject of allocation of coal blocks.
 
The court passed the order while hearing a PIL filed by advocate ML Sharma on the alleged coal blocks scam which has purportedly caused a huge loss to public exchequer.
 
The bench said the affidavit shall cover the guidelines framed by the government for the allocation of coal blocks.
 
It said the Secretary should also elaborate the process adopted for allocation of these coal blocks and whether the guidelines had an in-built mechanism to ensure that the allocation of coal blocks does not lead to distribution of largesse unfairly in the hands of few private companies. 
 
The bench also sought to know whether the guidelines for allocation of coal blocks were strictly followed and whether by their allocation, the objectives of policies were realised.
 
The bench wanted to know what were the hindrances for not following the policy of "competitive bidding" adopted by it in 2004 for allocation of the coal blocks.
 
Lastly, the court sought to know what steps were proposed to be taken against the allottees who have not adhered to the terms of allocation or have breached the agreement.
 
The apex court also made it clear that it is primarily concerned with the aspect of the adherence of the guidelines and policies concerning the allocation of coal blocks and all other aspects including the demand for the CBI probe into the alleged irregularities is not taken at this stage.
 
During the hearing, the Solicitor General informed the bench that the criminality aspect of the alleged irregularities in the coal block allocation was already being looked into by the Central Bureau of Investigation.
 
"We are at present touching the allocation part and no other thing," the bench said.
 
"Our focus is on the issue of guidelines followed in the allocation of coal blocks," it added.
 

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