Centre hints at another crack down on shell companies

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SHILLONG, Sept 24: Days after the recent action on the shell companies by the ministry of corporate affairs, union minister of state for law and corporate affairs, PP Chaudhury has indicated more such crack down on shell companies in the near future.

“Internal assessment of the departments under ministry of finance or ministry of corporate affairs is going on, action against some of them already taken, while, some more action will be taken soon, properties are also been check to identify more such companies,” Chaudhury said.

A multiple names from the Northeast, including Assam, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh, have surfaced in the first of its kind ‘name and shame’ exercise by the Centre in the infamous racket involving shell companies.

Arunachal Pradesh chief minister Pema Khandu and a minister of state in the BJP-led Assam government, Naba Kumar Doley, figure among the 1.06 lakh disqualified directors associated with shell companies that have been “named and shamed” by the ministry of corporate affairs (MoCA).

Speaking to media persons here on Saturday on the sidelines of the Central Puja Committee (CPC) get together programme, Chaudhary said that the government had issued notices to around 2.57 lakh such companies but almost 2.09 lakh companies did not comply hence they were removed from the register due to non compliance.

Chaudhary informed that directors of companies who have not filed their returns since the last three years have also been disqualified. He said that all companies which have been targeted may not be shell companies but they have been targeted due to non compliance.

“Data mining is being done, the matter is also being examined to find out who the beneficial owners are and we from the ministry believe that corporate structure should not be misused so that the issue of black money and money laundering is addressed,” he told reporters.

He also said that the bank accounts of those directors whose names have been struck will be frozen. He added that after data mining, the government will have details of how many companies did not comply with the norms and how many are defaming the corporate structure.

A shell company is a non-trading entity used as a means for various financial transactions or kept dormant for future use in some other capacity.

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