The government has struck-off around 2.24 lakh companies till date for remaining inactive for a period of two years or more, including those which were involved in suspicious financial transactions in days following demonetisation, it was announced on Sunday.
Following the action of striking-off of defaulting companies, restrictions have also been imposed on the operation of their bank accounts, said a statement from the Corporate Affairs Ministry.
It added that a preliminary inquiry on the basis of information received from 56 banks revealed that 35,000 companies involving 58,000 accounts saw suspicious transactions with over Rs 17,000 crore being deposited and withdrawn from those accounts post-demonetisation.
"In one case, a company which had a negative opening balance on November 8, deposited and withdrew Rs 2,484 crore post-demonetisation," the statement said.
"Apart from the restrictions on bank accounts, action has also been taken to restrict sale and transfer of movable and immovable properties of struck-off companies until they are restored. The state governments have been advised to take necessary action in this regard by disallowing registration of such transactions," it added.
The Corporate Affairs Ministry said that the information with respect to such companies had been shared with enforcement authorities, including the Central Board of Direct Taxes, Financial Intelligence Unit, Department of Financial Services and Reserve Bank of India for further necessary action.
Companies have also been identified for inquiry, inspection and investigation under the Companies Act, 2013 and necessary action is underway, it added.
"Separately, action has also been taken to disqualify directors on the board of companies that have failed to file financial statements or annual returns for a continuous period of three financial years during 2013-14 to 2015-16," the statement said.
"Around 3.09 lakh directors have been affected by this action. A preliminary inquiry has shown that over 3,000 disqualified directors are directors in more than 20 companies each, which is beyond the limit prescribed by the law.
"With a view to checking the problem of dummy directors, action is underway to seed Director Identification Number with Permanent Account Number and Aadhaar," it added.
The Prime Minister's Office has constituted a Special Task Force under the joint chairmanship of the Revenue Secretary and Corporate Affairs Secretary to oversee the drive against defaulting companies with the help of various enforcement agencies.
The Special Task Force has so far met five times and action has been initiated against several defaulting companies, "which is expected to help in the drive against black money", the statement said.