Millennium Post

Marquee MNC names trapped in IL&FS bond squeeze

New Delhi: Amazingly, the allure of the triple A rated IL&FS bonds now toxic was such that while both Indian private and public sector got sucked into the honeycomb, a vast swathe of top rated multi national corporations also decided to invest their employees

hard earned savings in them.

Ministry of Corporate Affairs supplementary affidavit filed with NCLAT on April 8 has revealed a treasure trove of fresh information.

While IANS has been at the vanguard of exposing the extent of malfeasance at IL&FS, as also naming the companies and entities which have exposure to the virus infected bonds, the real size, scope and magnitude has now been revealed -- provident and pension funds of 1,400 firms, lakhs of employees and Rs 9,700 crore at stake and no real attempt either to cauterise the festering wound or begin a repayment process barring the recent April 8 order, which says that some element of prioritisation needs to be factored in for the hapless working class caught out of their comfort zones.

However, the government does not want preferential treatment for Provident and Pension Funds for it will upset the other equally huge clutch of creditors. So, in the catch 22 that prevails, everybody loses.

Over 150 intervening petitions have been filed with NCLAT seeking resolution of this matter for it is the working class -- blue and white collar -- which is directly impacted by this malaise.

Investment banks, tech companies, pharma giants, airline heavy hitters, the list is long and the amounts large.

On scouring through the long lists which run over pages and pages, IANS has now discovered that Bata India employees statutory PF, Glaxo India, Otis Elevator, Sumitomo Indian Staff PF, McCann Erickson India EPF, Lufthansa German Airlines employees local PF, Philips Electronics India, BASF, Novartis, Pernod Ricard, Bechtel India, JP Morgan, Nestle, shockingly Canadian High Commission India Staff, British Airways pls staff, Texas Instruments India, Volvo India, Cisco Systems India, Sanofi India, Sapient Consulting, BBC Worldwide India, McKinsey Knowledge Centre and Shell India.

Many of these companies have multiple exposure, for instance, Otis has several entries with different amounts varying from Rs 55 lakh to Rs 1 to 2 crore over different years, 2012 and then again in September 2015.

What is perhaps even more pertinent is that slapbang in the middle of an ongoing election, the emergence of such sloth on the part of an entity like IL&FS where the government is unable to ring fence the savings of common working class folk is something that requires urgent attention.

Imagine the staff of American Embassy School PF, Barclays Bank Plc India, American Express India, Societe Generale EPF, British Airways has many entries ranging from Staff Pension Fund to Cabin Crew Pension Fund, ditto for Philips, Alcatel Lucent, Mercedes Benz R&D India, Procter & Gamble Executive Pension Plan, Adobe Systems, HP Globalsoft, Schlumberger, CapGemini, Cadbury India, Goodricke Group, Gillette, et al.

As one turns page after page, many of these entities have multiple entries with enhanced exposure. Caught in a maelstrom which is growing exponentially, what should be worrying for these MNCs and their employees is that they fall in the category of unsecured creditors and their money is not at all safe due to the level of toxicity. This list compiled by MCA is as recent as December 31, 2018.

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