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Modi govt shielding black money big guns, Swarajya Abhiyan alleges on DeMon eve

Catch Team | Updated on: 7 November 2017, 21:38 IST
(File photo)

Even as the government has declared its plans to celebrate 8 November as 'anti-black money day' to celebrate the one-year anniversary of the controversial policy decision of demonetisation, activist lawyer Prashant Bhushan and activist Yogendra Yadav accused the government of shielding the biggest black money hoarders in the country.

Dual games

In a set of documents released by Swarajya Abhiyan, it has been alleged that the 1984-batch IPS officer Rakesh Asthana's name figures in the diary of Sterling Biotech, on which the central investigation agency itself has registered a FIR.

Asthana is currently serving as the Special Director at the Central Bureau of Investigation.

According to Bhushan, the agency had seized a diary in 2011 from the premises of of sterling Biotech with details of a monthly payout to the many income tax officials as well as policemen and politicians. Producing a copy of the document, Bhushan said that if the government were serious, they would not have promoted Asthana to the rank of Special Director at CBI.

On 2 November, Bhushan filed a public interest litigation challenging the appointment Asthana as the CBI Special Director.

Accusing the Modi government of fooling the people of India in the name of attacking black economy, Bhushan said that “there is enough information with the government about big corporates like Mukesh Ambani, Anil Ambani, Gautam Adani and others, but he does not want to take any action. The real black money does not lie in the rooms and trunks of middle class people who were harassed by the Modi government through demonetisation, rather than money has already deposited in the bank accounts of the industrialists through the use of shell companies.”

Bhushan and Yadav have been at the forefront against the black economy in the country and have put both the UPA as well as BJP lead NDA governments on the spot for going soft against the big corporate houses in the country.

It is important to note that the government has announced striking off around 2.24 lakh companies for remaining inactive for a period of two years or more, and there is a claim that a preliminary examination of 58,000 accounts involving 35,000 companies has revealed that over Rs 17,000 crore was deposited and withdrawn post demonetisation. The government has announced that these deposits are being investigated and there would be a report on the subject very soon.

However, Bhushan and Yadav call these announcements as mere gimmicks to divert the attention of the public from the issue of demonetisation and black money.

“It has been three and a half years since Modi came to power, why has he not taken action against Sterling Biotech which has siphoned off more than Rs 5,000 crore of funds through over-invoicing and under invoicing,” asks Bhushan.

Below is the statement issued by Swarajya Abhiyan against different companies and promoters.

On Adani and Essar

Documents released by Bhushan say, “Indian power companies like Adani and Essar directly import the coal/equipment from the OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers) based mostly in China. The foreign intermediary company is wholly controlled/owned subsidiary of these Indian companies, set up solely for the purpose of generating two sets of invoices for such imports. The invoices generated by the ORMs on the intermediary company reflect the actual rice of the imports.”

“The invoices generated by the intermediary company on the Indian companies are inflated almost to the extent of 400%. the amount of over-valuation is the illegal profit generated by the promoters of the Indian companies, in the garb of costs, which is siphoned out by the subsidiary intermediary foreign companies, into accounts owned by the promoters situated mostly in tax havens.”

On Mukesh Ambani

“The Indian high commission in Singapore made a startling disclosure to the government of India in a letter dated August 2011. The high commission had stated that Rs 6530 crore have come into India from Bio Matrix Marketing ltd, a one room company in Singapore that does not do any business. It was pointed out that this is a company with no assets, no equity and does not file any income tax returns in Singapore claiming to be a small company. Yet, this huge investment by this company of Rs 6530 crore is the single biggest FDI into India from Singapore. The High Commission had stated that all this money has gone into Reliance Group of Companies in India with the major chunk going to Reliance Gas Transportation Infrastructure Ltd which is a company 100% owned by Mr Mukesh Ambani personally.”

On Anil Ambani

“CBI in its charge sheet in the 2G scam had confirmed that swan telecom was set up by reliance Telecom owned by Anil Ambani. We all know that as consideration of the transfer of Swan Telecom to Balwa and Goenka, they could not have directly transferred the money to Anil Ambani companies since that would have exposed the transferred the money to Anil Ambani companies since that would have exposed the fact that Swan Telecom was owned by Reliance. Hence a circuitous route had to be followed.

I ( Bhushan) had therefore found and complained to SIT on Black Money on 18th July 2014 that M/s AAA 7 Sons enterprise ( an Anil Ambani company) received a huge sum of $750 million from a company EMITs Singapore in December 2007, which was later transferred to other Anil Ambani owned Reliance group companies.

The Entire amount transferred by EMITS Singapore was not used for ay project by the AAA& Sons but only transferred by EMITS to other group companies. Though this was also a transparent case off money laundering by taking funds abroad and then bringing them back to India circuitously, no action was taken even on this complaint, which was backed by all documentary evidence.”

First published: 7 November 2017, 21:38 IST