Minister of State for Corporate Affairs PP Chaudhary
Minister of State for Corporate Affairs PP Chaudhary

Govt says 55,000 shell firms struck off in second phase

Non-filing of financial statements or annual returns for a continuous period of two years or more the main reason

Mumbai: The government on Friday said it has struck off around 55,000 shell companies in the second phase of its efforts to curb illicit fund flows, and some of the companies have already been served notices.

The corporate affairs ministry has already struck off over 2.26 lakh firms for non-filing of financial statements or annual returns for a continuous period of two years or more as part of the first phase of the drive.

“So far as the shell companies are concerned, in the first phase, we have struck off around 2.26 lakh companies, which were not only non-compliant firms but also most of them were bogus. More than 400 companies were working from a one-room set up. In the second phase, we have already struck off around 55,000 companies and more are on the anvil," according to Minister of State for Corporate Affairs PP Chaudhary.

Asserting that the government did not want the corporate structure to be “misused" by way of money laundering, drug funding or any illegal actives, Chaudhary said the Serious Fraud Investigation Office (SFIO) and other enforcement authorities were investigating the issue (shell companies) and taking action wherever required.

The government had in June said it had identified 2.25 lakh companies and 7,191 LLPs, which did not file requisite financial statement for 2015-16 and 2016-17, and they would be struck off during the ongoing fiscal year.

The corporate affairs ministry was “scrutinising" some of the companies to whom notices had been issued in the second phase, Chaudhary said. “We had issued notices (to some of the companies) and were examining their responses. We will take action in accordance with the Companies Act."

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