Sunday, 18 August 2013

Shreesurya Scam -company's capital base is just Rs 14 lakh-TIMES OF INDIA

Shreesurya Scam -company's capital base is just Rs 14 lakh-TIMES OF INDIA

NAGPUR: Even as estimates of money collected from the public by Shreesurya Investment run into hundreds of crores, the web of private limited companies floated by its chairman Sameer Joshi has a total equity base of just Rs 14 lakh. The details are available at the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) website.

There are 10 companies floated under the Shreesurya banner, and the total paid-up capital comes to Rs 14 lakh. Nine of the companies have paid-up capital of just Rs 1 lakh each, with the last one having Rs 5 lakh. Paid-up capital is the funds contributed by the owners in a business.

The norms require a minimum capital of Rs 1 lakh for floating a private limited company. Sameer Joshi and his wife Pahlavi are directors in these companies, all with the same registered address at Pratap Nagar.

Joshi has been maintaining that funds are collected from the public in the name of Shreesurya Investments, which is a Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) firm, and further invested in the private limited companies.

Joshi has claimed that his own contribution in the businesses is around Rs 30 crore, which is certainly not reflected in the equity base of these companies available at the MCA website. Joshi was not available for comment despite repeated calls on his cellphone. He is admitted to a city-based hospital after he got bouts of depression and hypertension.

Financial professionals say that the Rs 1 lakh equity base and all units registered at the same place are typical signs of dummy companies.

There are chances that the equity-base would have further shrunk, if the books show losses in the business. The money collected from the public could possibly be shown as loans, but if the balance sheets do not show the amount at all, then the entire affair becomes questionable, said a senior chartered accountant.

Social activist Kishore Tiwari has called for government intervention in the matter, saying that a capital base as low as one lakh certainly appears to be fishy. "How is the money collected from public accounted as," he asked.

Financial consultant Ranjit Dani said the equity base shows the amount put in by the promoters. One lakh is the least amount needed for forming a company. "The word company looks attractive and hence is often used to attract depositors."

The companies under the Shreesurya fold range from those dealing in auto finance to real estateand media.

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