FEMA violations: Rana Gurjit’s son grilled by ED
SEBI, RBI flagged ED about the alleged foreign exchange violations by his companypunjab Updated: Jan 18, 2018 09:50 IST
Rana Inder Partap Singh, son of Rana Gurjit Singh who recently tendered his resignation from the post of Punjab power and irrigation minister, was on Wednesday grilled for over six-and-a-half hours by Enforcement Directorate officials here in connection with a case of violation of Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA) by the family-owned company Rana Sugars Limited.
Partap, who came to the ED office along with a friend and advocates in his white sports utility vehicle (SUV) Toyota Land Cruiser at around 12.35pm, entered the ED office wearing a big smile.
ED deputy director Rahul Sohu had issued summons to Inder Partap, managing director of Rana Sugars, a firm run in collaboration with Punjab Agro Corporation, on January 2, raising doubts about the sum of $18 million (over Rs 100 crore) the firm had raised a decade ago by floating foreign shares, or GDRs (global depository receipts), allegedly without the permission of Reserve Bank of India (RBI).
Money Laundering Case: Power minister Rana Gurjeet Singh's son Rana Inder Partap Singh appears before Enforcement Directorate Jalandhar @HTPunjab @vinayak_ramesh @navneetsharma_ pic.twitter.com/FAI47LuBtO— Parampreet S Narula (@paramnarula) January 17, 2018
Sohu, along with assisting inquiry officer-cum-enforcement officer Priyanka Sharma and other officials, grilled Partap over raising of funds worth Rs 100 crore by his firm by floating foreign shares without the permission of the RBI. Officials said that all the questions were “in black and white”.
SAYS CLARIFIED ‘WHATEVER ED ASKED’
Interacting with the media after coming out of the ED office at 7.10pm, Inder Partap said he has clarified whatever the ED has asked of him.
Asked why he did not seek RBI permission to raise the funds, Partap said the funds were raised through the “automated route” that doesn’t need RBI permission. “However, we have to inform the RBI, which we had informed and a copy of which has been provided to the ED officials,” he added.
Asked why he was summoned by the ED, he said, “Every department has the right to question us whether it’s ED or I-T (income tax) and if they have any inquiry they have right to question and we are supposed to answer.”
He added, “All the work done by our firm is in written form and are on balance sheets. Even our assessments were done by the I-T (department) 12 years before the issue which has emerged now,” he said.
“We didn’t give any bank guarantee to foreign shareholders. Anyone can invest in GDR,” Inder Partap said when asked about the allegations that Rana Sugars Limited is also accused of extending bank guarantees for its foreign shareholders who allegedly raised loans from foreign banks to buy Rana Sugars Limited shares.
Meanwhile, he refused to respond to queries concerning the political aspect of the issue, saying it a business matter.
The issue came to light after the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) informed the ED that the money was raised without informing SEBI and was a clear violation of FEMA.
Before issuing the summons, the ED wrote to Rana Sugars asking for copies of the company’s balance sheets from 2005-06 to 2007-08, along with details of GDRs issued by the company.
Following the ED summons, Rana Gurjit, who has also been in the line of fire over sand mining auctions, tendered his resignation, though the final decision on the matter is yet to be taken by the Congress high command.
ED officials said it is suspected that the Rana Sugars gave guarantees for loans taken by investors abroad for subscribing to its shares.
The company is also accused of not filing any information regarding these matters with Indian officials. ED officials said as per the RBI information, the money thus raised was kept in a bank in Portugal’s Madeira Island for some days before being transferred to India.