Govt to track down houdini honchos with strong database

New Delhi, Apr 29 | Updated: Apr 30 2007, 05:30am hrs
Companies that have done the vanishing trick or are planning to do so may find it more difficult with the government planning to increase its vigilance against them. The ministry of company affairs (MCA) is planning to track the directors of such companies in the coming months.

For the purpose, it will strengthen its database and feed in the names of such directors. It will then match it with director identification numbers (DIN), which are already registered with it to check for any matches.

Vanishing companies are those which raise money from the capital market and subsequently, vanish-a phenomena that was very common during the stock market boom of the 1990s.

The ministry will also establish a link between the DIN and corporate identification numbers (CIN) to further verify whether the directors of any vanishing company are also working for another company.

A ministry official said, We will have this system operational by July and we hope it will help us track at least some directors of such vanishing companies.At the same it, the ministry is also planning to do a roll check on digital signatures and will make it mandatory for all company directors to register their digital signatures with the ministry. It will also compile digital signatures of chartered accountants and company secretaries from their organisations, sources said.

The ministry has identified about 229 vanishing companies and it is estimated that they collectively mobilised over Rs 700 crore from investors. About 115 such companies have been already traced by the ministry and over 100 cases lodged.

The ministry had earlier set up a central coordination and monitoring company to track the action taken against such vanishing companies and their directors.