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Modi govt freezes bank accounts of over 200,000 suspected shell companies

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NEW DELHI: The bank accounts of 209,032 suspected shell companies have been frozen as part of a crackdown on illegal transactions and tax evasion and aware banks about the active ones accounts, the Finance Ministry said.

The Registrar of Companies (RoCs) of 24 jurisdictions have deregistered the firms and “the existing directors and authorised signatories of these companies will now become ex-directors or ex-authorised signatories,” the statement said.

According to ministry, after the order, the owners and their nominated signatories will not be able to operate the bank accounts until legally restored.

“The department of financial services has… advised all banks that they should take immediate steps to put restrictions on bank accounts of such struck off companies,” the statement said.

Tax officials say the owners of shell companies create elaborate smokescreens, including naming personal servants and chauffeurs as board directors, to obscure the ultimate beneficiaries, conceal political investment, evade tax, commit fraud or manipulate tenders.

An RoC can strike off the name of a company on several grounds:

If it fails to commence its business within a year of its incorporation

If it will not carry on its business in two preceding financial years

and not making an application to obtain the status of a dormant company.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi also described such firms as “looters of the nation’s wealth”.

Wefornews Bureau

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No lay-offs by Wipro amid crorona crisis, no such plan

The Bengaluru-headquartered IT behemoth employs more than 1.75 lakh people in several countries across the globe.

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Azim Premji Wipro

Bengaluru, July 13 : Global software major Wipro has not laid off any employee during the Covid-19 pandemic nor has any such plan at the moment, a top company official said on Monday.

“I just want to give comfort and say this categorically that we have not laid off a single employee as the pandemic unfolded,” Wipro Chairman Rishad Premji said at the company”s 74th annual general meeting (AGM) held virtually.

“At the moment, we have no plans to lay off anybody at the company,” he said, replying to a female shareholder.

“We are trying to drive cost deductions through various other means operationally and otherwise,” said Premji.

The Bengaluru-headquartered IT behemoth employs more than 1.75 lakh people in several countries across the globe.

–IANS

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Google to invest Rs 75,000 crore to boost digitisation in India

The investment will focus on four areas important to India’s digitisation– first enabling affordable access to information to every Indian in their own language.

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Sundar Pichai

New Delhi, July 13 : Google CEO Sundar Pichai on Monday announced a Google for India digitisation fund through which, the company will invest Rs 75,000 crore or approximately $10 billion over the next five to seven years to help India go digital.

“We will do this through a mix of equity investment, partnerships and an operational infrastructure ecosystem in India. This is a reflection of our confidence in the future of India and its digital economy,” Pichai said during the Google for India virtual conference.

The investment will focus on four areas important to India’s digitisation– first enabling affordable access to information to every Indian in their own language.

“Second, building new products and services that are deeply relevant to India”s unique needs. Third, empowering businesses to continue or embark on digital transformation. And fourth, leveraging technology and Artificial Intelligence for social good in areas like health, agriculture and education,” the Google CEO said.

India’s Union IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad were also present during the conference.

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Business partner of Rajasthan CM’s son under ED scanner

Sharma was summoned by the ED four days ago. The agency suspects that large scale overseas transactions have taken place.

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Ashok Gehlot

New Delhi, July 13 : Amid political crisis in Rajasthan, the Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Monday conducted raids at Hotel Fairmont in Jaipur.

Investor Ratan Kant Sharma, close aide of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot’s son, is under the agency’s scanner.

Sharma had allegedly received around Rs 96.7 crore from Mauritius and has stakes in Hotel Fairmont. Sharma and Vaibhav Gehlot, son of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, are business partners.

Sharma was summoned by the ED four days ago. The agency suspects that large scale overseas transactions have taken place.

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