NEW DELHI: Government-run construction company NBCC told the Supreme Court on Tuesday that it can take over 46,575 flats left incomplete by private developer Amrapali, but needs Rs 8,500 crore to finish the projects. Selling unsold flats could fetch Rs 4,885 crore but Rs 3,853 crore will still need to be raised.
With the SC turning down NBCC’s suggestion of raising money from homebuyers who are to clear dues pending possession, a large gap needs to be closed before the 19 projects in Noida and Greater Noida are taken up. Banks are chary of funding the projects without a clear repayment path, having being burned by Amrapali’s reckless conduct.
‘It’s a big scandal. We’ve to track homebuyers’ money’
Observing that distressed homebuyers will be asked to clear dues only after completion of construction, the SC said “fraud and scandal” runs deep in the real estate business with companies diverting investors’ funds, and decided to hold forensic auditing of 40 Amrapali group firms. The bank accounts of their promoters, directors and their dependants will also be examined to decipher the “cobweb” created by the firm to obscure siphoning of funds.
The company has agreed to a public auction of its properties though it has argued personal assets of Amrapali’s directors will yield small amounts.
While National Buildings Construction Corporation agreed to take over all Amrapali housing projects and complete them in three years, the bench of Justices Arun Mishra and U U Lalit said money had to be raised from selling assets of the group companies and their directors. The court also said Rs 2,700 crore of homebuyers’ money siphoned off by the firm had to be tracked and invested in the projects.
The court agreed to examine the proposal of advocate M L Lahoty for setting up a committee headed by a retired high court judge for the auctioning and directed the company to give details of its assets which could be first put under the hammer for public auction.
“This is a very serious kind of fraud going on in the real estate business. It is a big, big scandal. We have to retrieve the money where ever it might have gone. If the homebuyers’ money has been used by others, then those persons would also be in difficu lty. Let’s first find out who are the culprits. There may be many people behind the curtains. We will go everywhere to catch them,” the bench said. “We want to expand the ambit of the probe. We want to ascertain outflows of the money and if it has been transferred to individuals, it has to be retrieved.”
The court asked additional solicitor general Maninder Singh to suggest names of auditors who could be entrusted with the task. “If we get the money, then it could be used for completing the housing projects,” it said and posted the case for passing orders on September 6.
Advocate Gaurav Bhatia, appearing for the group, said the personal assets of the directors of the company were very “minimal” and selling them would not fetch the needed amount. He agreed to a public auction of the companies’ properties though.
Source From : https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/delhi/nbcc-to-sc-need-8500-crore-to-finish-amrapali-projects/articleshow/65678685.cms