The Registrar of Companies (RoC), which has been asked to examine the accounts of the National Spot Exchange (NSEL), its promoters and affiliates, is expected to submit a report to the ministry of corporate affairs (MCA) in two weeks’ time, corporate affairs minister Sachin Pilot said on Friday. Pilot also said the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) is expected to submit its final report on the Tata-Unitech deal in the next “few days” .
On the issue of going through NSEL books, Pilot said “ would take a couple of weeks” for the department to submit a report. Under the Companies Act, 1956, MCA has the powers to order and inspect the accounts and other regulatory filings made by companies. MCA had ordered the inspection after the R5,600-crore payment crisis hit NSEL in July.
“I think it will take a couple of weeks. I have asked the department to do it as soon as possible,” Pilot said on the sidelines of a CII event on the new Companies Act, 2013.
Following the payment fiasco, which has raised concerns about violation of various regulations, the bourse has come under the scanner of multiple authorities and investigating agencies. NSEL, a commodity exchange promoted by Jignesh Shah-led FTIL, is grappling with pending dues of about R5,600 crore, after it suspended trading on July 31 following a government directive.
Last week, finance minister P Chidambaram said NSEL had violated rules from day one and the matter was being looked into by the ministry, CBI and the Forward Markets Commission.
On the issue of the ongoing probe by the Serious Fraud Investigations Office (SFIO) on PR firm Vaishnavi Corporate Communications, Pilot said: “I have already met the SFIO officials. They are working on the report. I will receive the report in next few days".
In 2012, the MCA had ordered the SFIO probe into the affairs of Niira Radia-led PR firm Vaishnavi, which used to handle media relations of various Tata group firms and Unitech. According to media reports, the Mumbai office of the SFIO is said to have communicated to its head office that certain ‘dubious’ transactions disguised as realty transactions took place between Tatas and Unitech. As reported, the SFIO Mumbai report suspected that a R1,700-crore realty deal between Tatas and Unitech in 2007 could have been meant for funding Unitech’s telecom licence issued in January 2008. Both Tata Group and Unitech have already denied any wrongdoing.
On the issue of Cabinet’s approval to the recommendations made in the Mudgal report on Walmart-lobbying issue and the Action Taken Report (ATR) by the MCA, Pilot said: “The Cabinet could not devote much time on Thursday due to the Telangana issue. Cabinet may take it up in its next meeting.”
The Cabinet has to discuss the findings of Mudgal panel that probed allegations of lobbying activities by Walmart to enter the Indian market, as well as the pursuant Action Taken Report. This is because the decision to set up a one-man inquiry panel was also taken by the Cabinet earlier in the year.