Monday, August 05, 2013

"Displaced" employees of diamond sponsors of Vibrant Gujarat write to CM, seek CBI inquiry into "fraud"

By Our Representative
In a letter to the Gujarat chief minister, representatives of 1,400 "displaced employees" of Sai InfoSystem (India) Ltd (SIS), which was a Vibrant Gujarat 2013 sponsor, have sought the CM's intervention in Gujarat's largest IT company's move to ease out more than 400 employees and their respective families in Gujarat, alongside 1,000 plus employees and their families across the country. "This ill-fated organization was incidentally the diamond sponsors of Vibrant Gujarat Summit held in the month of February 2013", the letter reminds the CM.
The letter comes amidst increasing view among the labour organisations across the state that Modi favours exit policy, in order to allow companies to hire and fire employees at will. "The employees of SIS have been suffering across the country over the last couple of months and running from pillar to post seeking help from various government authorities in their respective states but unfortunately have not been successful due to procedural issues", the letter states.
The move comes despite the fact that today SIS has spread its wings to hardware manufacturing, software development, system integration and telecom services. Sunil Kakkad, electronics and communications engineer and a first generation entrepreneur, founded the company in 1992 to offer IT solutions to SOHO segment, and today it is recognized for offering all required solutions. In fact, Cyber Media, a leading IT publication group, has recognized SIS as the largest total solution provider in the country.
The move also comes despite the fact that as per the audited balance sheet for the last three fiscal years, the SIS has been a profit making organization. Recalling this, the letter to Modi says, it appears strange that the company is seeking to ease our employees even though "it earned with Rs 140 crore of profit as per the balance sheet of 2012-2013." The balance sheet was prepared in between end April 2013 and mid May 2013, the letter finds it strange that the firm "suddenly appears to get bankrupt within three months of operations in this fiscal".
The letter underlines, "This clearly indicates that the balance sheet of the organization and figures mentioned are incorrect and exaggerated by the directors of the company, auditors (internal / external) and other financial consultants associated the organization that has displaced 1,400 employees and their families, vendors and bankers."
It suspects, "This also raises the doubt of a possible scam which could run into hundreds of crores", which it demands "needs to be investigated thoroughly by economic offences wing and Central Bureau of Investigation and not just the local police." It adds, "If the above captured funds have come from various financial institutions between May 2012 and June 2013 then it is strange to understand the reasons behind default of payments to employees towards their salaries, variable income, reimbursements, travel claims etc."
The addition, the letter says, "We understand that our organization had received Rs 40 crore of funds in name of the group company, Click Telecom, from Canara Bank, Mittal Tower C-Wing, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021, in the month of June 2013. Out of the Rs 40 crore, Rs 25 crore was disbursed by Canara Bank on 14th (approximately Rs 6 crore), 15th (Rs 9 crore) and 24th (Rs 10 crore). The entire transaction for getting this loan disbursed was front ended by our erstwhile vice-president finance (Sohel Parikh) who has recently resigned and joined a new organization."
The letter to Modi alleges, "The entire transaction of withdrawal of these amounts or movement to other accounts were carried out between our CMD Sunil Kakkad and Mr. Mihir Patel (finance consultant) who were present in Mumbai between June 25 and 28... The said money was to be used for releasing the salaries/ variable income and claims of employees that had been pending for more than eight months approximately. The balance payment to the best of our knowledge was to be used for paying some of the statutory outstanding towards ESIC, PF, income tax dues (corporate as well as TDS deducted of employees but not deposited with relevant government departments etc.)."
Further, the letter points out that "the organization had also won 2 large projects between November 2012 and February 2013" which were from the department of post worth Rs 1,540 crore, and Mumbai Security Surveillance Project (home department, Government of Maharashtra) worth Rs 700 crore. "The LOI for both the projects were eventually revoked by respective government authorities on account of failure to submit the performance bank guarantee (PBG) within stipulated and extended period", the letter informs Modi.
In addition to the above, the letter says, "there was a cheque of approximately Rs 62.7 crore (drawn on SBI-Ahmedabad, dated June 7, 2013) issued to home department (Government of Maharashtra) as security deposit towards PBG, if not submitted on or before June 7, 2013." However, the cheque "cheque eventually bounced." Already, it adds, the Government of Maharashtra is "taking necessary legal actions against the CMD for this default".
Meanwhile, the letter said, Kakkad "disappeared" on June 27, 2013 and "has not been traceable or reachable over the last two weeks." Other directors of the company, one being Samir Kakkad based out of Ahmedabad (apparently his own brother), they are claiming that he has resigned. "This has left the organization without a valid Board of directors and the management team defunct in absence of financial or executive powers", the letter says.
Significantly, the letter alleges, the resignations "have not been uploaded at registrar of companies website", hence he and others who have claimed to have resigned "lawfully hold valid positions in the organization as directors, but are refusing to help citing the reasons of resignation... Their non-cooperation during these challenging times is unfortunately."
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