Exclusive! Mother of Dairy Sham. Where Have NDDB's 16 Subsidiaries Vanished?
The National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) founded by Dr Verghese Kurien in 1965 is credited with pioneering the farmer cooperatives movement in the country and Operation Flood, which took India from a country of acute milk shortages to becoming the largest producer of milk in the world. 
Over time, NDDB has grown so big that the government seems to have lost sight of how hundreds of crores of rupees are regularly transferred by the Board to subsidiaries and further step-down subsidiaries. What seems astonishing about NDDB is that the subsidiaries themselves seem to vanish with regularity and without any explanation from its annual reports. 
Whistleblowers inside NDDB are perturbed at what they call a growing trend of several hundred crore rupees of public money being pumped into subsidiaries without any discussion on what happens to the funds. 
Data shared with Moneylife from NDDB’s own annual reports tabled in Parliament gives credence to their allegations. 
Before we discuss the charges, it is important to know that central government’s approval is required for the creation of every subsidiary company of NDDB as well as their winding up. This applies to step-down subsidiaries as well. 
Interestingly, not all chairpersons of NDDB have bothered with this requirement, and the government has remained silent too. It is also important to know that NDDB has its own statute and the giant organisation has often argued that the Companies Act is not applicable to it. 
However, what we mention here is basic disclosures that apply to any company dealing with public funds. 
NDDB has written that according to its records, between 2004-05 and 2017-18, Rs4,477.95 crore was lent of which Rs2,424.47 crore was lent to dairy cooperatives and Rs2,053.48 crore was lent to its own subsidiaries. (Corrected this para as we had taken into considerations all term loans and working capital loans, which was an error.)
Insiders allege that a study of NDDB’s accounts would reveal that for every rupee that it lent to dairy cooperatives between 1998 and 2010, around 50 paise went to some of its own subsidiaries. However, the reply from NDDB shows, for every rupee lent to dairy cooperatives between 2004-05 and 2017-18, nearly another rupee was lent to its own subsidiaries, the bulk of which went to Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable Ltd (Mother Dairy).
The biggest beneficiary of NDDB’s largess is Mother Dairy, which, over the years has built a huge franchise and brand to compete with Amul. 
The annual reports of NDDB show large transfer of funds to around 20 odd subsidiaries, many of which are step-down subsidiaries – reminiscent of the failed Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services (IL&FS) group with 347 odd entities. 
These units seem to vanish at regular intervals. Only four subsidiaries are now listed in the latest annual report of 2017-18. These are - Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetables Ltd (Delhi), NDDB Dairy Services (Delhi), IDMC Ltd (Anand), and Indian Immunologicals (Hyderabad).
Mother Dairy: This company has nine subsidiaries where NDDB is shown as holding company. But all these companies are missing from the NDDB’s annual reports in various years from 2002 onwards.
For instance, 
  • Mother Dairy Foods Ltd was last reported in 2002-03
  • Parag Milkfoods (UP) Ltd, a joint venture (JV) last reported in 2004-05
  • Mother Dairy Delhi Ltd, a JV last reported in 2005-06
  • Mother Dairy Food Processing Ltd has vanished from its reports after 2006-07
  • Mother Dairy India Ltd., vanished from NDDB annual reports from 2006-07 
  • Milma Foods Ltd, a JV was last reported in 2005-06 
  • Aanchal Milkfoods Ltd, other JV that was last reported in 2005-06 
  • Maathashri Milkfoods Ltd, a JV has last been reported in 2005-06 and 
  • Safal National Exchange of India Ltd, a JV of which there is no record at all. 
Why is the disappearance significant? Because hundreds of crore rupees extended to these entities for multiple purposes appear to have gone down the drain along with the companies, without any disclosure. The auditors have had no comments to offer about these vanishing entities. 
Now let’s look at the sums involved. Between 2004-05 and 2011-12, Mother Dairy received funds worth Rs411 crore in the form of investment, grant and other considerations from NDDB. It was also provided with subsidised dairy commodities worth Rs405 crore and other goods worth Rs542 crore at discounted price. NDDB also allowed Mother Dairy the use of an entire office complex in Noida for several years. 
Further, NDDB extended loans of Rs688.7 crore to Mother Dairy at below market interest for over past 13 years. If that weren’t enough, seven subsidiaries of Mother Dairy separately received grants from NDDB. 
In return, over a 13-year period, Mother Dairy has paid a total dividend of Rs55 crore to NDDB, which is a return of less than 2%. 
NDDB Dairy Services: This company and several subsidiaries which were set up with NDDB as the holding company no longer exist. They are Indiagen Ltd (which was last reported in 2008-09), Dhara Vegetable Oil and Foods Co Ltd (last reported in 2007-08), Bharat Aseptic Packaging Ltd (last reported in 2001-02), Bhagnagar Vegetable Products Ltd (last reported in 2001-02), Kiriya Milk Industries of Lanka Pvt Ltd (last reported in 1990-2000), and Hindustan Packaging Co Ltd (last reported in 1998-99 after it was sold out).  
It turns out that Dhara Vegetable Oils and Foods was set up in 2004-05 and in less than three years amalgamated with Mother Dairy in 2007-08. Mother Dairy now continues to make the Dhara brand of oil. No explanation is offered for hundreds of crores wasted in this exercise. 
Safal is another confusing name. On the one hand, Mother Diary has booths selling fresh fruit and vegetables under this brand name in Delhi and the national capital region (NCR) and in some parts of Odisha. On the other hand, Safal National Exchange of India Ltd was a curious joint venture with Jignesh Shah’s Financial Technologies group with the ambitious plan to start commodity trading! It was quietly wound up, say insiders, and no information is available in the public domain. 
In the 1980s, NDDB had the foresight to start Hindustan Packaging Co at Baroda as a JV with TetraPak of Sweden with 80% ownership. The JV ran into problems in a decade and the Board sold its entire stake to TetraPak, which continues to package so many of NDDB’s products. 
NDDB Dairy Services: NDDB Dairy Services (NDS) was set up as a private limited company in 2009 where NDDB subscribed to Rs1 crore as share capital. Soon, it was converted into a not-for-profit company under Section 25 of the Companies Act (now Section 8 of Companies Act, 2013). When NDS was first incorporated as a private limited and wholly owned subsidiary company of NDDB, the Board transferred Rs199 crore to NDDB Dairy Services, in the form of contribution of capital for purchase of equity of an equal amount.
Indian Dairy Machinery Co Ltd (IDMC): In 1992, IDMC became a wholly owned subsidiary company of NDDB. The company offers processing and packaging solutions to its customers across dairy, cattle feed, pharmaceutical, beverage and thermal segments. IDMC is a leading manufacturer of tankages, process vessels, plate heat exchangers, flow items and specialized key process equipment. For FY2017-18, IDMC reported total revenues of Rs803.46 crore.
Indian Immunologicals Ltd: During 1999-2000, Indian Immunologicals was set up as a wholly owned subsidiary; Mother Dairy was set up in 2000-2001 and Dhara Vegetable Oil and Foods, the next year. Over the next few years or by 2004-05, NDDB had over a dozen subsidiaries as per its annual reports.  
(Source: NDDB Annual Reports tabled in the Parliament)
Indian Immunologicals has three subsidiaries where NDDB is shown as holding company, including Pristine Biologicals Ltd (2017-18), Indiagen Ltd (JV- 2006-07) and Indiagen Ltd (2009-10).
Dhara Vegetable Oil and Foods Co has one unit with NDDB as a holding company. This company, Bhavngar Veg Products Ltd was last found mention in 2003-04 in the annual reports of NDDB.
So what happened to the other 16 companies that were shown as subsidiaries or sub-subsidiaries of NDDB in subsequent years? Also what about the huge investment NDDB has made in all these companies? 
All these facts raise fundamental questions of probity and integrity, both in the governance of Mother Dairy and in the actions of the powers that were in the Board in releasing such vast sums of monies from the NDDB Fund as grants and other equivalent assistance to its wholly owned subsidiary. 
This Fund was held in trust for the development of India’s about eight lakh dairy farmers. But instead it was used mainly to fund subsidiaries and step-down subsidiaries of the dairy development board, the annual reports show. 
Who are the people responsible for this massive waste of public money? Are there any checks and balances? What about audits by the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG)? Like many professionally run organisations that get captured by a powerful management cabal, NDDB has worked actively to avoid a CAG audit. 
NDDB lost a case in the Delhi High Court in 2010 to evade a CAG audit. The judgement said that CAG has full freedom to audit NDDB including conducting a performance audit, but this has not happened. In response to an unstarred question in the Rajya Sabha on 28 December 2018, the government has affirmed this position. 
Although government organisations, NDDB and its subsidiaries are also skilled at evading queries under the Right to Information (RTI) Act. NDDB has managed a stay on the applicability of RTI and Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) Act on Mother Dairy. The central government is playing along – as it has been doing with the two first line regulators the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). Letters and complaints sent to the CVC about NDDB are systematically buried. 
Given that NDDB has been the pride of Gujarat, it is important that the Prime Minister should intervene and make the organisation more accountable for public funds and to farmers and milk producers who are its lifeline. In fact, bringing NDDB back on track is important for the entire dairy movement. 
Moneylife sent emails to top executives of NDDB and joint secretary of department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying in the central government. NDDB official told us that they have received our mail and would soon respond. 
Editor’s Note:  
1) Discrepancies in the numbers occured because NDDB's annual reports make it difficult to decipher faces. Since the mix of term loans and working capital loans were never shown separately by NDDB, all the loans were assumed as working capital loans and hence a linear addition, which was error.

2) Moneylife has removed all comments, purportedly by NDDB insiders, claiming that whistleblowers have been identified and acted upon. This is a threat and does not behove a statutory body like NDDB. Similarly, NDDB’s response to Moneylife has also been posted by a third party - we have let that remain. However, it signals the strange manner in which this statutory body is functioning.
Ajay Kumar
4 years ago
It is not that due to attachment of NDDB Chairman with it, IRMA gets associated with Caste-ism, and a supporter of corruption and criminalization, if the incumbent one continues in BOG as Chairman and no CBI Probe takes place. The accusation of caste-ism to IRMA is also not out of its association with development sector or because of my victimization for running it for contractual employment in NDDB, Anand. There are many facets of it, some of which I have described, I can describe all. If incumbent NDDB Chairman continues to exercise control over IRMA because of OYP or other facts, it would be yet another example of caste-ism with IRMA (Institute of Rural Management, Anand).
Colur Colour
4 years ago
In the present eco legal system where even defence deals where suspicion is raised are presenting documents in the public, NDDB appears to be doing a more confidential exercise. NDDB and subsidiaries are never questioned and whatever questions raised against them in press or elsewhere are never answered. Answers, if any provided are just sweeping statements giving themselves clean chit with no explanation of laws or even denying the facts. It is high time the Government looks into the matter.
Joint Secretary (DD) is on the Board of NDDB and he is also technically party to all the decisions and actions.

Facts raised at forums like people (Minesh Shah) named culprits by Lok Ayukta, Jharkhand are appointed as ED, NDDB are very serious. These appointments are in fact done by GOI. Where are we going?
Ajay Kumar
4 years ago
Only a reigning-IAS (IAS in Service) should be heading NDDB and even IRMA BOG Chairman should also be some IAS from MORD. Then only caste-ism and criminalization can be wiped out. Retired/resigned people (why not IAS officers) are not befitting for these posts, can remain merely NDDB Chairman Whereas for corruption, there are assigned bodies
Ajay Kumar
4 years ago
Harassing me by non-granting employment in NDDB upon three opportunities during 2001-03 and further harassing me for non-sanction of travel cost from Anand to Patna in July 2002 and further ensuing non-termination of an IRMAN from PRM 9 but two promotions, who is also an ex-employee of MPSCDF, Bhopal do not mean that the recruitment’s of officers for NDDB state offices were bribery-free, nor anyone has given them complete clean-chit, at least not me till now. Who were the HR people issuing termination and contractual letters? Less knowing me about dairy sector or management functions, if these people could be patronized in NDDB thru caste-ism, why not bribery could also have taken place? Only OYPians, who are in plenty in NDDB justify NDDB Chairman as IRMA Chairman.
Ajay Kumar
4 years ago
Through control over Institute of rural management, Anand (IRMA), there is circulatory phase of caste-ism, corruption and criminalization:-
Examples of caste-ism: There are many people, facilitated on CASTE grounds in the wake of reservations for SC/ST/OBC (many of whom are also Kurien-certified IRMAN or sponsored IRMAN or some ven OYPians) along with targeted harassment of me and they have also made Tolaram group and Afriventures to offer prestige to IRMA. Many IRMANS have been given favorable employment in NDS and as ED and even at IRMA whereas I languish to work in NGOs within a salary range of 15 to 25 thousand per month overlooking my PG qualification from IRMA which was made stake for running IRMA during 2002-03
Examples of Corruption: They do and encourage others to do, I was surprised when I received threats overtly for RTI information from NDDB and covertly for inviting current Indian PM for programs an NGO-MFI during 2015-16 as some other IRMAN recruited , they earn 40 times more than ability and are also not subjected to Lokayukta and Lokpal (NGOs are also eligible for interrogation)
Criminalization: There are many other examples, one such is un-natural death (or was it murder!) of an IRMA professor in October 2015 before taking over of IRMA BOG Chairman by the then NDDB Chairman and of-course, the incumbent one has also been functionary managing director allowing non-termination of an IRMAN for long. So why only Lokayukta/lokpal inquiry, there should be full-fledged CBI probe.

Brijesh Dhol
4 years ago
Sucheta please don’t jump to conclusions about NDDB’s silence. Your article raises issues going back to 10 - 15 yrs and whatever I know of NDDB they will thoroughly check records before replying.
harsh vasanani
4 years ago
I have worked with NDDB group of companies when Dr Kurien and Dr Patel were Chairman. I am 100 percent sure that NDDB and it’s group companies will not resort to such activities as mentioned in the story. You have a good reputation and could have got the same rechecked.
Satanjiv Jha
Replied to harsh vasanani comment 4 years ago
Mr. Harsh you are right in your statements. But you would have worked before Mr. Rath ruined NDDB's reputation. If you would have worked under Mr. Rath then you would have known what this article is talking about. All facts have been extracted from published papers. It is well known in the industry that NDDB' top brass including chairman and ED are only interested in ideas and innovations that can provide them private margins.
Sucheta Dalal
Replied to harsh vasanani comment 4 years ago
Maybe you need to check facts instead of jumping to conclusions. We have connected with the company and sent reminders about their failure to respond. There is only silence. So please draw your own conclusions. Unless there is some other motive here.
S Talwar
Replied to Sucheta Dalal comment 4 years ago
Well said, Ms Sucheta. Why were the reminders not responded by the company? Is there not something fishy? You have done a great service, Madam. With sufficient material made available by Money Life, hopefully the new Ministers who shall be heading Ministries of Agriculture/ Finance/ Corporate Affairs will order a high level probe. All those responsible for the mess should be swiftly brought to book.
Ajay Kumar
4 years ago
From 2010-11 annual reports, NDDB Chairman is having additional "chief executive" status, reasons seem to be managing Milk Unions in Assam, anyway, it may also be in lieu of "competent authority" as on HR group letters which were also earlier P&A, later renamed as CHR and finally HR. NDDB Dairy services were also created by closing NDDB Regional Office at New Delhi, it was not conversion but closure first, it is yet another matter that the three other regional offices are termed metro offices now along with Noida office (which was a state office earlier). Rational is lacking many times and whims 7 fancies prevailing leaving scope for irregularities and caste-ism
Ajay Kumar
4 years ago
When there are so many scams, kickbacks, cases of corruption, favoritism and SUBSIDIARIES associated with NDDB. IRMA (Institute of Rural Management, Anand) should have been kept away from the clutches of NDDB Chairman. There has been also an un-recognized course associated with IRMA i.e., One year program which had a degree related with rural development management rather than rural management, moreover, there are sponsorships associated with newly introduced PGDM(R)-X, moreover also, why education at the back-foot in India in such case?
Ajay Kumar
4 years ago
Damn good,,, doing well to enlighten people, otherwise the most important subsidiary they treat is only IRMA (Institute of rural management, Anand) so what if it is supposedly an educational institute? They can manage through tricks and caste-ism and even invite Tolaram Group and Afri-ventures for giving undue credibility to it. During the operations of "state offices", there was an induction program held for NDDB officers also in February 2002 in which I made a visit to the institute which was treated as an associated unit, it was so till December 2015 since then it is more of managed unit , when incumbent continued as IRMA bog chairman without formal extension, everything was clear it is now almost a subsidiary, though formally undeclared.
S Talwar
4 years ago
Mr Ramesh Sachdeva if you have the proof why don't you take it up diligently with the concerned authorities and ensure the case reaches the logical conclusion.
Ramesh Sachdeva
4 years ago
Sadly Mother Dairy is in wrong hands today. The current Managing Director is the same man who was pronounced guilty by Lokayukta Jharkhand for causing financial losses to the Jharkhand Milk Federation. The whistleblower was an insider from NDDB who was posted in Jharkhand. After confirming facts he wrote a letter to Rath stating the misappropriation happening in the federation. To which he did not get any reply.
Later Meenesh Shah was sent to investigate the facts. He botched up the entire investigation and filed a report stating all is well. The whistle blower was thrown out of his job for raising the issue of corruption. Later he filed a complaint with Lokayukt Jharkhand stating 13 issues of corruption by the management committe. Later on all 13 points the Lokayukta found the management committe guilty causing huge financial losses to the Jharkhand Milk Federation. In a press confrence the office of Lokayukt informed the media regarding the 13 charges which was investigated by a three member committee appointed by Lokayukt was found to be correct. The office of Lokayukt informed the press they would take action against the wrong doers soon.
Such corrupt officials becomes a Managing Director of Mother Dairy is a matter of shame and disgrace. The appointing authorities have appointed the investigator Meenesh Shah as the current Executive Director of NDDB who had botched up the entire investigation and was also a part of the Jharkhand Milk Federation managing committee. The whistle blower is looking for justice.

Colur Colour
4 years ago
Dilip Rath, the current Chairman of NDDB is the root of all this. He was Joint Secretary (Dairy Development) in GOI. His performance as IAS was below par and was also corrupt with reports of benami assets like properties in Kolkata and other places. Proof are his ACRs and recommendations for non empalment as Additional Secretary. To avoid being shamed in IAS cadre, he formulated a plan (being JS-DD he was on Board of NDDB). He teamed with Deepak Tikku and Amrita Patel and in the front face of National Dairy Plan the 3 of them have looted monies using the subsidiaries. How can one explain the Rs 190 crore ICD to ILFS even after the ILFS scam was open? The money siphoned using subsidiaries and Producer Comapnies managed by NDS is well over Rs 1000- 2000 crore.

Rath made the master plan and convinced Tikku and Amrita. Thats why he left IAS and joined NDDB as MD (the Board where he was Government nominee). I think anyone with a bit of understanding can see that he had a plan in place.

Other demonstrable proofs are that after so many years of Tikku retiring from NDDB (after extension beyond normal age_) he was first Chairman, NDDB Dairy Services and now Independent Director, MDFVPL. It is a violation of Companies Act also as MDFVPL and NDS are Related Parties under the Companies Act. Also NDS is only an exception where NDDB Chairman was not the Chairman. These facts directly indicate the gang up of Dilip Rath with Tikku and Amrita Patel.

Executive Directors in NDDB are appointed as per favouritism and those helping in corrution with complete disregard to merit and capabilities. People close to retirement or those indicted in enquiries elevated to ED. Those who stand up or protest are shown the door. NDDB and its subsidiaries have atleast a couple of cases in courts by employees terminated without procedure and judgements in favour of employees are expected soon.

Rath's wife is a politician and also a pivot for anchoring the money and in stategy. In fact, it is said in circles that she plans everything for Rath and team.

Using his IAS network, Rath manages everything. He has close links with certain key official in PMO. His extension as NDDB Chairman came a day before model code of conduct in first week of March 2019 - despite his previous term being expired on 30 November 2018 and he was only care taker? Does it not smell a rat? This despite the Agriculture Minister not being in favour of his extension - albeit verbally but not wiiling to come on record.

I hope Moneylife and Ms Dalal would take this tragedy further and bring more facts to light. All the points mentioned above are facts and can be verified by anyone.

Thanks for the good work and all the best.
Sucheta Dalal
Replied to Colur Colour comment 4 years ago
Interesting background. Do give us a link to the Jharkhand case. Request you to email us at [email protected]
4 years ago
there was a time when NDDB was for the benefit of poor farmers who were formed into a strong cooperative by a visionary called Dr Kurien and converted into a model for the whole world. Thereafter, the inner corporate power struggle converted the Milk coop into a pit for ' power jockeying' and Mr Kurien's life was made miserable in his last days.
Now, as per the above report - these subsidiaries and sub subsidiaries are made from NDDB so that, public money could be siphoned off into private pockets. The whole NDDB has now become a 'laughing stock' in the eyes of the cattle farmers and the public. Hope Gujerat govt and the Central Govt looks into this serious matter and restore NDDB to its old glory...!!..
4 years ago
These scams cannot happen until the auditors are involved with the crooks. They themselves propose such ideas to get good commissions. It's time laws are made to make the auditors accountable more than the businesses.
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