Deregistered companies deposited Rs 7,000 cr during demonetization

New Delhi: Cash worth nearly Rs 7,000 crore was deposited in bank accounts during demonetization and later withdrawn by companies, which are now deregistered, according to union minister P P Chaudhary.

Bolstering efforts to crackdown on the black money menace, the government has struck off the names of more than 2.24 lakh companies from official records and data mining is progressing to ascertain whether these entities were used as conduits for illicit fund flows.

Against this backdrop, Chaudhary on 25th October said that it has been detected that just about three per cent of the 2.24 lakh struck off companies had deposited around “Rs 6,000 to 7,000 crore” in bank accounts during demonetization and later the amount was withdrawn.

“It (the number of such companies) is only three per cent of the total 2.24 lakh companies. It may be more… Data mining is going on,” the Minister of State for Corporate Affairs said here.

In November last year, the government cancelled old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes as legal tenders as part of larger efforts to fight the black money problem and corruption.

The corporate affairs ministry, which is implementing the Companies Act, has been deregistering entities that have not been carrying out business activities for a long period as well as defaulted on compulsory filings.

The minister said action is being taken against non- compliant companies as corporate structures were being misused by unscrupulous people for various illegal activities.

“It (the action) is for non-compliance of the companies and we cannot say that all these companies are shell companies. We can only ascertain once data mining is over,” he said.

Besides, directors associated with such non-compliant companies have been disqualified.

Speaking at an event organised by industry body Assocham, Chaudhary emphasized that the government wants to create a clean system and not “terrorise”.

“The purpose of the government is not to terrorise but the purpose of the government is to create a clean system, transparent system (and) to provide ease of doing business,” he said.