The Golden Touch of Jay Amit Shah

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  1. billubakra

    billubakra Well-Known Member

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    New Delhi: The turnover of a company owned by Jay Amitbhai Shah, son of Bharatiya Janata Party leader Amit Shah, increased 16,000 times over in the year following the election of Narendra Modi as prime minister and the elevation of his father to the post of party president, filings with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) show.

    Company balance sheets and annual reports obtained from the RoC reveal that in the financial years ending March 2013 and 2014, Shah’s Temple Enterprise Private Ltd. engaged in negligible activity and recorded losses of Rs 6,230 and Rs 1,724 respectively. In 2014-15, it showed a profit of Rs 18,728 on revenues of only Rs 50,000 before jumping to a turnover of Rs 80.5 crore in 2015-16.

    The astonishing surge in Temple Enterprise’s revenues came at a time when the firm received an unsecured loan of Rs 15.78 crore from a financial services firm owned by Rajesh Khandwala, the samdhi (in-law) of Parimal Nathwani, a Rajya Sabha MP and top executive of Reliance Industries.

    One year later, in October 2016, however, Jay Shah’s company suddenly stopped its business activities altogether, declaring, in its director’s report, that Temple’s net worth had “fully eroded” because of the loss it posted that year of Rs 1.4 crore and its losses over earlier years.

    The Wire sent a questionnaire to Jay Shah on Thursday seeking details about the shifting fortunes of Temple Enterprise and his other business ventures, as obtained from RoC filings, which he said he could not immediately respond to as he was travelling. On Friday, however, Shah’s lawyer, Manik Dogra, sent in a response with a warning that criminal and civil defamation proceedings would be launched in the event of “any slant or imputation which alleges or suggests any impropriety on his part.”

    As is obvious, the story the RoC documents themselves tell do not indicate anything more than the bare fact of various loans and revenues, which have not been denied by Shah’s lawyer. The world over, it is normal for the business affairs of politicians’ relatives in democracies to be subjected to public scrutiny, especially when there is a sudden change in fortunes that coincides with an uptick in the political cycle. During UPA-II, for example, the Congress party spent the better part of three years confronting questions about how party president Sonia Gandhi’s son-in-law, Robert Vadra, had managed to grow his real estate businesses on the basis of loans, including unsecured advances by real estate giant DLF. Indeed the sharpest attacks on Vadra’s affairs were from the BJP.

    Though Shah’s lawyer has not disputed the information drawn from Shah’s submissions – filings that companies must mandatorily make with the RoC to enable public viewing and examination – The Wire will be happy to publish any response from Shah as and when it is received.

    The shifting fortunes of Temple Enterprise

    Temple Enterprise was incorporated in 2004 with Jay Shah and Jitendra Shah listed as its directors. BJP president Amit Shah’s wife, Sonal Shah, also has a stake in the company.

    In 2013-14, Temple Enterprise did not own any fixed assets and had no inventories or stock. It also got an income tax refund of Rs 5,796. In FY 2014-15, it earned Rs 50,000 as revenue. However, in 2015-16, the firm’s revenues jumped to over Rs 80.5 crore, a growth of 16 lakh percent. Reserves and surplus turned negative to Rs 80.2 lakh from Rs 19 lakh the previous year. Trade payables were Rs 2.65 crore, up from Rs 5,618 the previous year. The assets of the company were only Rs 2 lakh. The firm had no fixed assets the year before. Short-term loans and advances were Rs 4.14 crore, up from Rs 10,000 the year before. Inventories were Rs 9 crore, up from zero the previous year, according to the firm’s filings.

    The massive increase in revenues is described in the filings as coming from the “sale of products”. This included Rs 51 crore of foreign earnings, up from zero the previous year.

    The filings also reveal an unsecured loan of Rs 15.78 crore from a listed entity, KIFS Financial Services. The revenue of KIFS Financial Services for the same financial year when the loan was given was Rs 7 crore. The annual report of KIFS Financial Services also does not reflect the Rs 15.78 crore unsecured loan given to Temple Enterprise.

    Rajesh Khandwala, the promoter of KIFS Financial Services, first agreed to respond to The Wire’s questionnaire sent on Thursday seeking clarification on his firm’s dealings with Shah’s companies but subsequently did not respond to calls and messages. KIFS, a non-banking financial company (NBFC), has had run-ins with SEBI in the past.

    Khandwala’s daughter is married to Parimal Nathwani’s son. Ahmedabad-based Nathwani heads the Gujarat operations of Reliance Industries and has operated for years at the intersection of business and politics. He is an independent member of parliament from the upper house. His re-election to the Rajya Sabha in 2014 was supported by BJP legislators in Jharkhand.

    A source close to Amit Shah told this reporter that neither Nathwani or Reliance had any role to play in the facilitation of the unsecured loan from Khandwala’s firm to Temple Enterprise. On his part, Jay Shah’s lawyer said in his written response to The Wire that Khandwala is an old friend of the family.

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    billubakra

    billubakra Well-Known Member

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