The Maharashtra government on Tuesday sealed the Sahara Group-owned Aamby Valley Resort for non-payment of dues worth Rs 4.82 crore, television channels reported.
The Lonavala-based property was sealed by the Mulshi Taluka Tahsildar for failing to pay the non-agricultural tax.
The Sahara conglomerate has been funnelling cash from small savers to fund the luxury resort south of Mumbai, according to documents Reuters reviewed recently.
Sahara has ploughed at least Rs 1,500 crore from two of its credit cooperatives into the Aamby Valley resort project through investments in preference shares, according to documents filed with the companies regulator, as some investors in its credit cooperatives complained of having struggled to get Sahara to pay out their matured time deposits — even for sums as low as Rs 30,000.
Sahara has been struggling financially since the Supreme Court ordered it in 2014 to repay investors in a 2008-11 Sahara time deposit plan that it declared was illegal. Founder Subrata Roy has been in jail for the past 22 months for not complying with the Court’s order.
Sahara said in a statement to Reuters the Aamby Valley project was valued at about Rs 1,00,000 crore, citing a 2014 report of property consultant Knight Frank’s India unit.
Markets regulator the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI), which had asked the Supreme Court to order Sahara to repay investors, has pegged its value at about Rs 40,500 crore.
The high valuation claim of Sahara contrasts with the flagging financial profile of the project: Aamby Valley posted an after-tax profit of Rs 9 crore in the year ended March 2013.