A RTI reply from the Navy Headquarters to Delhi-based activist Subhash Agrawal has revealed that more than Rs23 crore was spend on the event which took place on 20 December 2011
The President’s Fleet Review (PFR) 2011, held off the Mumbai coastline, cost the Navy whopping Rs23.24 crore, a Right to Information (RTI) application has revealed.
As the president of India is the supreme commander of the armed forces, he/she is entitled to inspect his/her fleet. PFR is a traditional assembly of ships, submarines and naval aircraft (in a fly past) at anchorage, according to India Strategic. It is held once during the five year tenure of the president.
Delhi-based activists Subhash Agrawal had filed a RTI application with Navy Headquarters seeking total expenditure for the PFR 2011. It was revealed that more than Rs23 crore was spend on the event. This included expenditure under various heads such as repair of submarines, hiring of vessels, transport and casual labour; maintenance of marine assets, repair and refits of aircraft related stores, etc.
Mr Agrawal also sought information on places renovated and/or newly built for PFR 2011 along with budgetary allocation and cost involved on each of such project renovated and/or newly built.
In reply to this RTI query, Navy HQ furnished the list of such long-term infrastructure development which together cost Rs11.67 crore. Some this includes Rs1.32 crore spent on external painting of buildings and rooftops and repair of buildings;
Rs1.2 crore spent on relaying roads; Rs41 lakh on the special repairs to the road from Afghan Church to RC Church (near Navy area); Rs27 lakh for the special repair to heritage wall at INS Angre; Rs8 lakh on display board on main roads; Rs49 lakh spent on special repairs to external services and rain beating wall of certain at VIP roads and procurement of light fittings and cable, refurbishment of tower, street and security lights among others.
The RTI reply also stated that Rs26.96 lakh was spent to buy new furniture, including 30 dining tables and 60 dining chairs, furniture for VIP lounge and for cabin staff. To the question on how much cost was involved in catering for the people involved in the fleet review along with tendering process followed in providing contract for catering, it was revealed that together Rs19.68 lakh was spent on the catering. Of this, Rs17.57 lakh was spent on the catering for presidential banquet involving 960 people while Rs2.11 lakh on catering for the presidential yacht/ship involving 750 people.
According to PTI, President Pratibha Patil, undertook the fleet review on 20 December 2011, in which she took salute from a flotilla of 81 ships, including four submarines and 44 aircraft of the Navy and the Indian Coast Guard.
The market is oversold and may go up to 5,040 if the recent low hold and we see a higher high tomorrow
While the fall in the rupee and dismal global cues kept the benchmarks in the negative terrain, a small recovery in the second half helped in restricting the losses. Yesterday we had mentioned that apart from sustaining itself above the support of 4,789, the Nifty has to strongly close above the day’s high which may take it up to the level of 5,040. We continue to maintain the trend. The National Stock Exchange (NSE) saw a lower volume of 49.46 crore shares being traded.
The continuing free-fall in the rupee and negative global cues resulted in a muted opening for the domestic market. The Asian markets were negative in morning on fears of Greece preparing to exit from the Eurozone. The Nifty opened 18 points down at 4,843 and the Sensex started the day at 15,995, down 31 points from its previous close.
Meanwhile, the rupee the rupee lost 43 paise to touch a fresh low of 55.82 against the dollar in early trade due to increased capital outflows amid a strong demand for the American currency by importers, especially oil refiners. The Indian currency has not been able to show any sign of recovery despite the Reserve Bank of India’s intervention.
Selling pressure in oil & gas, FMCG, power and technology sectors kept the market in the red in subsequent trade. The market fell to the day’s low in the fore-noon session on a further fall in the rupee. At the lows, the Nifty went down to 4,804 and the Sensex dropped to 15,847.
Continuing free-fall for the sixth day in a row, rupee on Wednesday crashed to 56.13 to a dollar in intraday trade. With the downward spiral continuing, the rupee has lost over 12% since March this year.
However, value buying in select stocks resulted in a partial recovery enabling the benchmarks to touch their intraday highs. At this point the Nifty rose to 4,854 and the Sensex inched up to 16,002.
The market could not sustain the gains and once again traversed further southwards as the rupee touched a low of 56 to a dollar in noon trade and a weak opening of the European markets, ahead of an informal EU leaders meeting later today.
The range-bound market closed in the red for the second day in a row. The Nifty settled 25 points lower at 4,836 and the Sensex finished at 15,948, a cut of 78 points over its previous close.
Markets in Asia settled in the negative on concerns about the exit from the Eurozone and the Bank of Japan deciding to keep its key policy rate at a range of zero to 0.1%.
The Shanghai Composite fell 0.42%; the Hang Seng declined 1.33%; the Jakarta Composite shaved off 0.98%; the KLSE Composite fell 0.46%; the Nikkei 225 tanked 1.98%; the Straits Times dropped 1.53%; the KOPSI Composite lost 1.10% and the Taiwan Weighted settled 1.75% down.
At the time of writing, the key European indices were down between 1.70% and 2.25% and the US stock futures were sharply lower.
Back home, foreign institutional investors were net sellers of shares totalling Rs283.34 crore while domestic institutional investors were net buyers of equities aggregating Rs207.60 crore.
Facebook’s iconic IPO, the fifth largest ever got listed and then sank like a stone. It now appears that small US investors have unwittingly been made fools of by the media, the company and intermediaries. For Indian IPO investors, all this too familiar
The Facebook IPO is now looking like a scam and fit for SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission) investigation according to market expert-turned writer Henry Blodget, who himself was in the thick of the last internet scam. Apparently, in what is called “selective dissemination” of Facebook’s future earnings, its lead underwriters, namely Morgan Stanley, JP Morgan (who had recently lost $2 billion) and Goldman Sachs, had warned its institutional clients ahead of its IPO that Facebook earnings would be dampened down a bit. In other words, the small investors did not know what the big investors knew, and were put at a severe disadvantage, without them even knowing about it. According to Henry Blodget, “selective dissemination” of this sort could be a direct violation of securities laws. Irrespective of its legality, it is also grossly unfair. It is interesting to note that Blodget was part of a similar deal, back in 2000, during the heydays of the internet bubble. He has since been debarred from the securities market, but has been vocal against this scam that is unravelling and shaking up America.
Ironic, that it has all the ills of a process that has ultimately alienated small investors in India, something that Moneylife has been pointing out. In this case, the media was hyping the IPO up for months what with talk of hackathons—where Facebook techies wearing hoods conducts coding sessions to develop applications. Like Google, its hackathons have attracted hundreds of programmers, eager to earn their riches (and be the next Mark Zuckerberg), by developing applications and software for its platform that will garner more users. The media showcased this so called “cool culture” that is part of the Silicon Valley, and advertisers saw the potential of Facebook as a platform.
With so much frenzy that surrounded Facebook, pundits were talking about future earnings estimates reaching billions of dollars, increased user base and such. Obviously, this hype was designed to lure retail investors. The lead underwriters and Facebook gathered enough momentum during the IPO roadshows and hackathons.
On 9 May 2012, it released what is called S-1 filing with the SEC, to reflect lower future estimates. Theoretically, this should reflect on its IPO pricing. However, Morgan Stanley and Facebook did not revise their IPO price in the light of this event, having garnered enough retail investors for institutions to dump institutional investors’ shares on the opening day.
So what happened on the opening day? The stock opened, zoomed up, and the biggies dumped their shares on hapless retail investors who knew little about the revised future estimates.
In the light of these discoveries, the stock crashed. Many retail investors are holding the stock which is now way below its IPO price. It now appears that the big guys sold out making millionaires of even those who have joined Facebook after 2009 and make Bono richer by $1.5 billion. Facebook’s founder, Mark Zuckerberg coldly sold 30.2 million shares and director Peter Thiel sold 16.8 million shares according to securities filings, making them insanely rich.
It is also pertinent to note that Nasdaq, the exchange, also had a role to play. Apparently, its systems were inundated with so called high-frequency traders, that its system could not accommodate the small investors’ orders and such. It was virtually overrun by robots. Its software designs effectively accommodated high frequency traders who trade on ultra-expensive automated software with “premium feeds” to Nasdaq’s latest quotes. The small broker, who represents the small investor, saw delay in its orders parsing through. At time of writing this article, Morgan Stanley has been subpoenaed over the IPO and the SEC will ‘review’ the Facebook IPO.
While the details differ, all this eerily similar to the Indian IPO scene in one respect: Short-changing the retail investors. From hyped-up Reliance Power to dozens of public sector companies that are underwatrer, IPOs repeatedly made suckers of India small investors.
We have been writing never to invest in an IPO unless the rules change. The current rules are loaded against individual investors. IPOs are done at a price and time chosen by the promoter/investment banker. The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) and the exchanges have an hand-off policy about the IPO quality since we have adopted a disclosure-based regime under which if you disclose the worst of negatives, it fine. This does not help investors at all. In this case, it was Morgan Stanley and Facebook who called the shots and kept the retail investors in the dark. Earlier, we had a series on IPO crackdown by SEBI. But simply fining and debarring the culprits is not enough. SEBI needs to change the rules and make it investor friendly, especially for the small investor.
Frankly, all this will keep repeating in both India and the US, unless policymakers step in but they don’t even seem to understand the process. It is this lack of understanding of the market process that has led to the Indian government formulating foolish schemes like Rajiv Gandhi Equity Savings Scheme, which we had earlier pointed out that it will leave small investors cold and alienated Budget measures will leave small investors cold. Nobody in the opposition has understood its implication either.
Policymakers are living in the world of their own. A good example is the recent announcement by the current expenditure secretary who was the former disinvestment secretary. He grandly announced that government companies have now been told to raise money from the public. The idea, like Facebook, is the same: if you can’t raise capital elsewhere, make an ass of the retail investors. After decades of such abuse, retail investor population is shrinking in India. Even in the US, investors’ involvement in equity market is the lowest in decades. Sadly, regulators in both the countries don’t get it.