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SEBI holding over Rs 23,000 crore of Sahara bondholders' money, says report

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SEBI was holding Rs 23,191 crore of Sahara Group bondholders' money at the end of last fiscal year, reported the Economic Times. The Supreme Court had directed SEBI in 2012 to attach the assets of Sahara Group. As per a SEBI report, claims worth only Rs 129 crore had been paid out to Sahara's bondholders as of March 31. The remaining amount remains with SEBI in an escrow account.

SEBI holding over Rs 23,000 crore of Sahara bondholders' money, says report
The Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) was holding Rs 23,191 crore of Sahara Group bondholders' money at the end of last fiscal year, reported the Economic Times. As per the report, the market regulators' annual report for the period revealed that the amount was held in an escrow account as of March 31.
The amount in the account included Rs 15,473 crore recovered and the interest on it, as per the report.
Earlier, in 2012, the Supreme Court had directed the capital markets regulator to attach the assets of Sahara Group.
“Till November 30, Sahara Group companies had deposited Rs 15,485 crore into the designated 'SEBI-Sahara Refund' account out of the principal amount of Rs 25,781.37 crore, according to news reports quoting Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's response to a query on the matter in the Lok Sabha,” the report said.
The recovered amount was supposed to be paid back to the bondholders and investors of Sahara, the report said. But, as per the SEBI report, claims worth only Rs 129 crore had been paid out to Sahara's bondholders as of March 31. This, a source told the media, is due to the fact that only a minority of investors have come forward with claims.
"In its last advertisement published in April 2018, SEBI made it clear that it would not entertain any further claim received after July 2018. It means that for SEBI, there are no more claimants to be paid, and Sahara's entire Rs 24,000 crore deposited is unreasonably held by SEBI. This huge amount of money is lying unutilised, idle in the banks which is not only hurting the interest of Sahara as a business organisation but also impeding the economic growth of our country," a Sahara spokesperson was quoted as saying in the report.
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