ED attaches bungalow of HDIL promoter in Mumbai region
The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Thursday said it has attached a bungalow of a promotor of Housing Development and Infrastructure Ltd (HDIL) in connection with the Rs 4,355 crore Punjab and Maharashtra Cooperative (PMC) Bank fraud case.
 
Spread over 5 acre, the Diwan Bungalow located in Dev Talao area in Vasai (West) in Maharashtra's Palghar district, part of the Mumbai Metropolitan Region, said the ED.
 
Last week, the ED had attached a private jet and jewellery worth Rs 60 crore of HDIL Chairman Rakesh Wadhawan and his son Sarang Wadhawan -- both in Mumbai Police custody.
 
The agency also claimed that it is in touch with authorities in the Maldives to attach Wadhawan's yacht which is anchored there. The ED has also frozen the bank accounts of Waryam Singh, former Chairman of PMC Bank, including deposits/fixed deposits of around Rs 10 crore.
 
Taking cognizance of the FIR filed into the matter by Mumbai Police's Economic Offences Wing (EOW), the ED had filed a money laundering case against HDIL promoters in the PMC Bank fraud case.
 
The ED had earlier carried out raids at multiple locations in Mumbai, including the head office of HDIL in Bandra (East) and the residence of Rakesh Wadhawan which is known as Wadhawan House in Bandra (West). The agency also raided the premises of Waryam Singh and former PMC Bank Managing Director Joy Thomas.
 
The ED has also found that HDIL was one of the sponsors of Kolkata Knight Riders, the IPL team co-owned by Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan. HDIL was also the organiser of a Mumbai fashion event -- HDIL Couture Week India, which was latter shelved.
 
HDIL also had stake in Adhikari Brothers' firms and Hindi news channel Live India.
 
The ED has said that it is also looking into the roles of seven directors of HDIL, including the Wadhawans. Both were arrested on October 3 by the Mumbai Police after they were found not cooperating with the sleuths.
 
It is also looking for the details of 18 other companies linked to HDIL. Sources said the companies are Wadhawan Livestock Private Ltd, Privilege Industries Ltd, UM Architechtures and Contractors Ltd, Guruashish Construction Private Ltd, Heritage Housing Development (India ) Private Ltd, HR Infracity Private Ltd, Libra Hotels Private Ltd, Privilege Airways Private Ltd and ANC Holdings and Investment Private Ltd.
 
The other connected companies are Privilege Power and Infrastructure Private Ltd, HC Infracity Private Ltd, Dreams The Mall Company Ltd, The Mall Malad Management Company Ltd, Dewan Realtors Private Ltd, Libra Realtors Private Ltd, HDIL Harmony Mall Company Ltd and Privilege Health Care Services Private Ltd.
 
It is alleged that HDIL, which is facing bankruptcy proceedings, and its group companies had taken huge loans from the PMC Bank. As many as 21,049 fictitious bank accounts were allegedly created to hide the loans, which were disbursed in violation of RBI norms.
 
It has also been alleged that HDIL accounted for nearly 73 per cent of the bank's total loans. Out of the Rs 4,355 crore loans under the scanner, around Rs 2,146 crore were transferred to accounts held by the Wadhawans. An account belonging to the Wadhawans had a balance of Rs 2,009 crore on August 31, 2019, according to the FIR.
 
During the probe by the Reserve Bank of India, it has been found that directors of PMC Bank had replaced 44 suspicious loan accounts with 20,149 fictitious bank accounts with low individual balances by tampering with bank software. The PMC Bank's former Managing Director Joy Thomas was allegedly behind the masking of the borrowers' accounts.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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    Toll Collections to Witness Mid-Single Digit Growth in FY2020, says ICRA
    While slowdown in economy and revision in axle-load norms proving to be a double whammy for toll road projects, weak traffic performance would result in mid-single digit growth in toll collections during FY2020, says a research report.
     
    In the report, ratings agency ICRA says, "The slowdown in the economy (GDP growth of 5% in first quarter-Q1 FY2020 as against 8% in Q1 FY2019) along with the higher-than-anticipated adverse impact of the revision in axle-load norms has adversely impacted the vehicular traffic, resulting in weak traffic performance across toll road stretches. 
     
    Freight movement has a strong correlation with the health of the economy and thereby the toll collections exhibit good correlation with the movement in GDP.  Therefore, we expect the toll collections to witness mid-single digit growth in FY2020."
     
     
    The revision in axle load norms in July 2018, allowed medium & heavy commercial vehicles (trucks) to carry higher freight by 15-20% with the same fleet size. 
     
    This, according to the ratings agency, has resulted in negative implied traffic growth at 0.1% during second half (H2) of FY2019 and overall traffic growth remained subdued at 2.4% in FY2019, which was the lowest in the last five-year period between FY2015-FY2019. 
     
    "Nevertheless, due to higher WPI in Q4FY2019, the increase in toll rate is higher in the range of 4.3%-5.5%, depending on the applicable toll rate revision formula, in FY2020 which will be the primary driver for growth in toll collection for current fiscal. 
     
    Given these factors, the toll collections are likely to witness mid-single digit growth in FY2020," says Rajeshwar Burla, vice president and associate head for corporate ratings at ICRA.
     
    In addition, the ratings agency feels that automotive sales, mainly commercial are also one of the leading indicators for the likely movement of traffic. 
     
    Typically, commercial vehicles account for around 65-70% of the total vehicular movement on a majority of the national highway stretches while passenger vehicles (PV) accounting for the remaining 30-35%. 
     
     
    ICRA says, "The latest commercial vehicle (CV) sales trend is not encouraging with the M&HCV cargo segment witnessing significant de-growth by 32% during five months (5M) of FY2020. Despite the potential pre-buying, before implementation of BS-VI emission norms from April 2020, in latter half of this fiscal year, the overall sales in medium and heavy commercial vehicles (M&HCVs) for FY2020 are likely to witness contraction. Domestic PV sales volume declined by 23.5% during this period. This slowdown in automotive sales too will impact vehicular movement."
     
    ICRA rated build-operate-transfer (BOT) toll portfolio has not witnessed any rating downgrades so far and the cash flows of the rated entities in investment grade are resilient enough to absorb this temporary slowdown in traffic. 
     
    "Starting Q3FY2020, the traffic is expected to witness modest growth vis-a-vis Q3FY2019 due to low-base effect. However, if the slowdown persists beyond Q4FY2020 there could be material deterioration in the debt coverage metrics necessitating some rating changes," Mr Burla concluded.
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    Railways made Rs 35,073 cr in 10 years by just selling scrap
    The Indian Railways, which does not exactly hold the reputation for being a profit-making entity has managed to swell its coffers by Rs 35,000 crore, which is more than the annual budget of three northeastern states put together.
     
    The Railways managed to make Rs 35,073 crore in 10 years by selling off scrap, including coaches, wagons and rail tracks. 
     
    A data collected by social activist and senior journalist Jitendra Surana, seeking Right To Information, showed that the amount was even greater than the budget of Sikkim (around 7,000 crore), Mizoram (9,000 crore) and Manipur (13,000 crore) together for the fiscal year 2018-19.
     
    Surana who hails from Malwa-Nimar region in Madhya Pradesh, has revealed the Railways figure. 
     
    The Indian Railways said it earned maximum profit of Rs 4,409 crore by selling scrap in 2011-12. The lowest income of Rs 2,718 crore was in 2016-17. 
     
    Among scrap, rail tracks were sold the most, and the overall income from selling the tracks in 10 years stood at Rs 11,938 crore. 
     
    Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
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