Right to Information
Public Interest Exclusive
RTI reveals Rs23 crore spent by Navy on Presidential Fleet Review 2011

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.



P M Ravindran

5 years ago

Thank God, atleast for this extravaganza adequate funds were available and some of it could actually be used to repair the war machines!


5 years ago

We can cut down on these useless ancient empirical english traditions of pomp and show and save government and public money for development of our fiscal,development and infrastructure deficit nation.At-least lets now wake up to realities and do something for our nation rather than SELF or USELESS CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS.



In Reply to Anju 5 years ago

couldn't agree more. stop the republic day parade & beating retreat ceremony. if something has to be announced to the nation, doordarshan is there. anyone who can go to india gate in delhi certainly has access to TV. i would even say auction the rashtrapati bhavan to taj or oberoi & the annual license fees should help cover a major part of our deficit...

Sensex, Nifty still in the doldrums: Wednesday Closing Report

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 IPO highlights the ills of IPOs that has also repeatedly fooled Indian retail investors

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.



sanjay doshi

5 years ago

While we find that the tricks played to sell the shares, the world over, are the same, we fail to see the innovation that the US companies do. FB has revolutionized social communication.Twitter has created the Arab Spring Revolution. Let us not deprecate things just because the stock price falls. There is something like emotion / sentiment/ perception and all people cannot be right all the time. Does India have this level of innovation ! It is a resounding NO.


5 years ago

What happen to facebook is happening in india since last 5 year. 5 year back they (lead manager and merchant banker create hype in IPO market give lot of money of retail investor to these promotor including goverment ( NTPC SJVN, NHPC SCI and many more.). Recent in india is MCX IPO.


5 years ago

Most of the IPO exercises have become "Cheating Exercises" in the name of free market and it is "heartening" to see that US is no better.
There needs to be an authority like the erstwhile Controller of Capital Issues to whom the IPO (maybe by a different name at that time) working had to be submitted and the justification of the pricing was to be obtained.


5 years ago

Very well articulated, thanks - and especially wrt the small investor in India who is not just wary about the equity market but also the convoluted process involved in entering, transmitting and exiting the equity market (in India).

The current Chairman of SEBI is on record with his views on small investors and the ridiculous RGESS is only symbolic of the disconnect that the regulators have with the real world in India.


dayananda kamath k

5 years ago

in india even regulator sebi and stockexchanges also help in looting investors. best case is nissancopper. those who purchased the shares in first 2 days who purchased @rs. 120 to 128 were not given the delivery of shares for 15 days reported to be at the instance of sebi. and by then it came down to rs.18/- by this they benfitted the short sellers. and who are buyers were made to bear the risk. even after complaint sebi did not respond. in any other country sebi head would have been arrested for such a fraud.when there is auction mechanism for shortsellers that could have been used and shares would have been put under trade to trade to solve the problem instead they allowed the brokers to play by crediting the shares after 15 days.

Glancy Xavior

5 years ago

Sytem designed to squeeze the Investors. In primary market , Merchant bankers make sure the Issuer gets the exorbitant price. When it lists and trades for period ,Govt make sure they get STT &Service Tax. Exchanges make sure they get Transaction charges. Brokers make sure they get commission. SEBI make sure that ultimately INVESTOR get another DELISTED or Penny stock in their holding. ...............Hail (un)holy system

Deepak R Khemani

5 years ago

How does Facebook add to the GDP of the United States?

.....well if you call GDP "Grand Dumb People" I suppose Facebook does add to it.

B Rajaram

5 years ago

Absolutely right you are. From the start I was questioning where is the revenue stream for Face Book? The so called advertisement revenue should have been reflecting the number of ads that would be disturbing you on the Face Book. But I never felt so. SO quiet. How was I getting the free lunch? When IPO was floated, I felt how it got rated so high. All imagined future revenues. Hmm truly American institutions are not up to the mark then.

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