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Govt cancelled 2.24 lakh suspected shell firms after note ban

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Arun Jaitley

New Delhi, Nov 5: The Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) on Sunday said it struck off around 2.24 lakh companies for remaining inactive for a period of two years or more. 

Apart from this government also disqualified around  3.09 lakh Directors, who were on the Board of Companies that have failed to file Financial Statements and/or Annual Returns for a continuous period of three (3) financial years during 2013-14 to 2015-16.

Following the decision of  striking-off defaulting companies, restrictions have been imposed on operation of their bank accounts in accordance with the law.

“A Preliminary Enquiry on the basis of information received from 56 banks in respect of 35,000 companies involving 58,000 accounts has revealed that an amount of over Rs. 17,000 crore was deposited and withdrawn after demonetization. In one case, a company which had a negative Opening Balance on 8th November, 2016, deposited and withdrew Rs.2,484 crore post-demonetization” the official press release said.

“Apart from the restrictions on bank accounts, action has also been taken to restrict sale and transfer of moveable and immoveable properties of struck-off companies until they are restored. The State Governments have been advised to take necessary action in this regard by disallowing registration of such transactions”, it added.

In one particular account, the MCA said, an account which had a negative balance on 8 November, deposited and withdrew Rs 2,484 crore post note ban.Another company was found to have as many as 2,134 accounts.

However, the action is a part of the special drive conducted by a special task force constituted by the Prime Minister’s Office under the joint chairmanship of revenue secretary and secretary, corporate affairs. The task force was in-charge of chalking out the drive against such defaulting companies with the help of various enforcement agencies.

Besides this, in a separate action the MCA more than 3.09 lakh board of directors were disqualified for their companies failing to file financial statements and/or annual reports for a continuous period of three financial years during  2013-14 to 2015-16, necessary under the Companies Act 2013.

According to Preliminary enquiry over 3,000 disqualified Directors are Directors in more than 20 companies each, which is beyond the limit prescribed under the Law.

“Further, in the light of the evidence with respect to abuse of the Corporate Structure through multi-layering, not more than two (2) layers are now permitted beyond the wholly owned subsidiary. This is in addition to the existing restriction which prohibits a company to make investment through more than two layers of investment companies”, MCA statement asserted.

In a bid to address the criminality angle, the Director, Additional Director or Assistant Director of SFIO have been recently authorized to arrest any person believed to be guilty of any fraud punishable under the Act. Under Section 447 of the Act, which defines fraud, stringent punishment including imprisonment up to 10 years is stipulated. Further, reference has been made to the Ministry of Finance to include it as a Scheduled Offence under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. it further added.

The Ministry claimed that it has taken several actions to demolish the practice of dummy directors including seeding Director Identification Number (DIN) with permanent account number (PAN) and Aadhaar at the time of DIN application through biometric matching for new applications.

Wefornews Bureau

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French Amundi threatens to sell-off SBI bonds over proposed Rs 5,000 cr Adani coal mine loan

Protesters were wearing a t-shirt which read slogans such as “#StopAdani”, “Stop Coal” and “#StopAdani”. Several anti-Adani protesters also gathered outside the Sydney Cricket Ground.

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Ind Aus SBI Adani protest

New Delhi: France-based Amundi, which is one of the largest investors in India’s State Bank of India (SBI), threatened to sell off SBI green bonds held by it unless it stops its scheduled Rs 5,000 crore loan to Adani’s Carmichael coal mine in Australia.

“We consider SBI should not finance this project. Ultimately it’s their decision but we’ve been extremely clear on the fact that if they decide to do it, we would immediately disinvest,” Director of the Institutional Corporate Clients Division & ESG, Jean Jacques Barberis, was quoted as saying by a global wire service.

“Financing the mine would be in “total contradiction” to the SBI activities financed through its green bond, he added.

“We have engaged SBI asking them not to participate (in the loan) and now we are waiting for their answer”, he was quoted as saying.

Amundi, which holds the SBI green bonds as part of its Amundi Planet Green Emerging Fund, said it learnt recently that the public lender is slated to fund the controversial coal mine project in Australia.

Adani’s billion-dollar Carmichael coal mine project in Queensland, Australia, has been the centre of many controversies ever since its inception as activists owing to environmental problems posed by it.

The development comes within days of Samsung Securities, the investment arm of South Korean conglomerate, announcement that it won’t back the project after it was targetted by protesters for having links to the coal miner.
Earlier this week, the first One-Day International (ODI) match between India and Australia in Sydney was halted briefly after two protesters appeared on the field holding placards against SBI and Adani Carmichael coal mine project.

Six overs into Australia’s innings, protestors walked to the center of the ground holding placards which read ‘No $1b Adani loan’ signs.

Protesters were wearing a t-shirt which read slogans such as “#StopAdani”, “Stop Coal” and “#StopAdani”. Several anti-Adani protesters also gathered outside the Sydney Cricket Ground.



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Manufacturing GVA growth in Q2 ‘surprising’: SBI Report

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Manufacturing

New Delhi, Nov 28 : The manufacturing sector played a major role in narrowing down the India’s GDP contraction in Q2 of FY21. An SBI Ecowrap report, however, dubbed the growth in manufacturing GVA as “astonishing” as the IIP manufacturing for the same period declined by 6.7 per cent.

India’s GDP in the July-September period contracted 7.5 per cent, compared with 23.9 per cent in the preceding quarter.

The GVA in Q2 2020-21 from the manufacturing sector grew 0.6 per cent, as compared with a degrowth of 0.6 per cent in the corresponding quarter of the previous fiscal.

The report by Soumya Kanti Ghosh, Group Chief Economic Adviser, State Bank of India, said: “Though the whole press release is full of surprising numbers, the most astonishing number is the positive growth in manufacturing in Q2.”

He noted that despite being the worst affected sector in Q1 (due to lockdown), it is quite puzzling how manufacturing turned itself around.

The IIP manufacturing and manufacturing GVA growth are highly correlated (almost more than 0.90) and this correlation collapsed in Q2 when IIP manufacturing declined by 6.7 per cent (average of July/August/September) while manufacturing GVA grew by 0.6 per cent.

He said that one possible reason for this could be stellar corporate GVA numbers in Q2 on the back of massive purge in costs.

Further, he said that small companies, with turnover of up to Rs 500 crore, are more aggressive in cutting cost, displaying reduction in employee cost by 10-12 per cent.

“This could turn a potential headwind in future in terms of a drag on consumption. Additionally, there is evidence of inventory build-up that could act as a drag on future manufacturing growth,” said the report.

“Interestingly, government consumption expenditure has also nosedived in Q2, that is difficult to explain, as such expenditures are typically pro cyclical.”

During the July-September period, agriculture sector continued to perform well with its growth pegged at 3.4 per cent. Services remained in the negative territory, although the decline was contained as trade, hotels, transport, communication and services related to broadcasting showed recovery.

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Apple patents new MacBook Touch Bar with Force Touch technology

It was also made available on iPhones and it was known as 3D Touch. Later with iPhone XR, Apple decided to replace 3D Touch with Haptic Touch for a better experience.

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San Francisco: Apple is reportedly planning to add Force Touch sensors to the OLED Touch Bar on a future MacBook Pro.

A new patent published by the US Patent And Trademark Office, suggests Force Touch could have an expanded role in the future on the Mac, with the development of a new pressure-sensitive Touch Bar, reports MacRumors.

The patent offers visual examples of how force-sensing technology would be implemented in a MacBook Touch Bar, with Force Touch circuitry surrounding the touch-sensitive OLED strip.

“The secondary display and force-sensing circuitry may be encapsulated between two glass layers that are bonded to one another by a frit. In some embodiments, the force-sensing circuitry is formed from or constitutes part of, the frit,” reads the abstract of the patent application

Force Touch sensors were introduced for the first time with the first-generation Apple Watch and they allow the screen to identify the touch pressure in order to perform different actions based on touch intensity.

This technology was then introduced to the MacBook trackpad in 2015.

It was also made available on iPhones and it was known as 3D Touch. Later with iPhone XR, Apple decided to replace 3D Touch with Haptic Touch for a better experience.

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