Business Hour

Sahara India ropes in foreign investors; assures repayment to investors

Sahara India chief Subrata Roy has expressed his hopes of getting all the company’s problems resolved in the months to come. On the occasion of Sahara’s 42nd Foundation Day, Roy stated that the group has roped in two foreign investors for its city development and real estate businesses.

The Sahara India founder also assured its investors of the repayment, saying that all investors will receive their invested amount along with full interest, and an additional interest would be paid by the company even for a day’s delay. Subrata Roy also said that nearly Rs 22,000 crore deposited to SEBI will also eventually come back to Sahara India.

In his letter to investors, Roy reinstated that the group has always kept intact its tradition of excellent services and timely repayments, and the delays in payments during the last seven years at certain places were caused only due to some undesirable circumstances. Through his statement, Roy referred to the prolonged legal battle with market regulator SEBI.

Roy elaborated on the problem, and said that despite having huge land parcels, developing townships has remained difficult for the company due to the embargo imposed by the Supreme Court.

According to Subrata Roy, Sahara India has thousands of acres of land across India. However, the land owned by the group spreads over a number of large parcels of 100 to 300 acres and there are no ready buyers for such big plots owing to a prevalent downturn in the real estate market.

“While there are a few willing buyers, they are offering one-fourth or even less of the real value, but a deal at such low rates is not possible because Sahara is not allowed to make any sale below 90 percent of the government circle rate,” said Roy.

He added, “However, the problems would soon be resolved as two esteemed foreign investors with huge funds are coming with us in our real estate and city development businesses. Keeping in mind the directions of the Supreme Court, certain agreements have been signed, which will resolve Sahara’s problems within this year, that is 2020.”

Talking about the refund process, Subrata Roy stated that nearly Rs 22,000 crore was deposited in the Sebi-Sahara account till date. This included the principal amount and the interest accrued on the same. However, the market regulator has been able to repay a little over Rs 100 crore to investors despite four rounds of advertisements in 154 newspapers across the country.

“In the fourth advertisement, Sebi had clearly written that hereafter, it will not entertain any claims. This last advertisement appeared about a year ago, which means that no further payments are pending. As per the instructions of the Supreme Court, Rs 22,000 crore will eventually come back to Sahara after verification,” said Subrata Roy in his letter.

He also said that various restrictions over the last few years have made it difficult for the group to run its business properly. “Things could have been set right much earlier if only we had a bit of relaxation to do business in housing development,” said the Sahara India founder.

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