Business Standard

NSEL investors to also target borrowers

NSEL Investors' Forum says they have not only kept settlement option open

Worried over the delay in recovery of their dues, of National Spot Exchange Ltd (NSEL) say they’re keeping the settlement option open while now targeting the borrowers who have to actually make payment to the exchange.

In a press conference on Tuesday, the Investors’ Forum said they’d widen their targets beyond the FT group (owners of NSEL) to cover, for the first time, the borrowers with whom they are holding talks.

The Forum had been targeting only the FT group and its promoter, Jignesh Shah, since the payment crisis erupted around two months earlier. The Forum has met officials of several ministries, accusing Shah and the FT group.

When asked if the forum was ready to settle the case with a haircut (acceptance of a writedown in payments as part of a settlement), Arun Dalima, its secretary, said: “Show us the money first and then talk about haircut or settlement.”

Widening its horizon, the Forum met 16 members who agreed to have taken money from NSEL. However, they, according to Forum chairman Sharad Kumar Saraf, are unwilling to divulge the amount they will pay.

“We therefore, are planning to target individual borrowers with the help of the exchange. A number of borrowers are known to us. Hence, it is easy to contact and target them. We will convene protests before large borrowers’ premises, similar to the one we had before the FT office. In a nutshell, we were gathering evidence through NSEL, media and government machinery. Also, we were talking to the FT group to bring about an amicable solution. The efforts are going to intensify to ensure recovery of the amount,” said Saraf.

He clarified that the expansion in their target did not mean the Forum had softened its stance against NSEL or the FT group.

In first ever legal action, the Forum has decided to file a suit against NSEL and its promoters before the Economic Offence Wing (EOW) of the Mumbai Police on Thursday.

Accusing inaction of the commodity derivatives markets regulator, the Forward Markets Commission, Saraf said that the and its parent ministry Consumers Affairs did not take any action despite they noticed irregularities two years ago.

“Hence, we are also holding FMC and Consumer Affairs Ministry answerable to investors,” he added.

In the last two months, the government agency and NSEL have been able to recover only two percent of the total default amount. “We hope, we will be able to recover at least 65-70% through accumulative actions from all sides,” Dalmia said.

The Forum also looking for options to approach concerned ministries to seek help of investigating agencies like CBI.

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