Millennium Post

All problems to be resolved in 2020, says Sahara chief

New Delhi: Hopeful of all its problems getting resolved this year, embattled Sahara group's chief Subrata Roy has said two large foreign investors have been roped in for real estate and city development businesses and nearly Rs 22,000 crore deposited with regulator Sebi will also eventually come back.

Roy has also assured all Sahara investors that they would get their invested amount with full interest and an additional interest would be paid even for a day's delay.

In a letter to investors on the occasion of the group's 42nd Foundation Day, celebrated on February 1, Roy said the group always kept intact its tradition of timely payments and excellence in services but there has been delay in payments during the last seven years at certain places due to "some undesirable circumstances".

Referring to a long-running dispute with capital market regulator Sebi over funds garnered by two group firms through issuance of certain bonds, Roy said the entire amount generated through sale or mortgage of assets or from joint ventures had to be deposited in a Sebi-Sahara account due to an embargo imposed by the Supreme Court.

"Out of this, we cannot use even a single rupee for organisational work or even towards repayment to the esteemed investors," Roy wrote.

Roy said Sahara has huge land parcels but developing townships or colonies on them has been difficult due to lack of funds for internal infrastructural development and for the requirement of depositing in Sebi-Sahara account any advance payment taken from residential unit buyers.

He, however, said these problems would be resolved soon 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," Roy said.

Sebi had ordered Sahara India Real Estate Corporation Ltd (SIRECL) and Sahara Housing Investment Corporation Ltd (SHICL) in 2011 to refund the money raised from around three crore investors through Optionally Fully Convertible Bonds (OFCDs).

After a long process of appeals and cross-appeals, the Supreme Court on August 31, 2012 upheld Sebi's directions asking the two firms to refund the money collected from investors with 15 per cent interest. Sahara was eventually asked to deposit an estimated Rs 24,000 crore with Sebi for further refund to investors, though the group has always maintained it amounted to "double payment" as it had already refunded more than 95 per cent investors directly.

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