The hearing on 11.2.2014 witnessed a lot being made out of the startling fact that Sahara has been raising money in cash and correspondingly a one-sided story has surfaced so far in the public eye. This incident has severely dented Sahara’s image and credibility which can potentially impact 12 Lakh families dependent on Sahara for earning their livelihood.
The truth lies in the fact that most of our investors are small. In OFCD an average investment is no more than a mere Rs. 8,000 while around 98% investors fall below the Rs. 19,000 mark to as low as even Rs. 500. Interestingly enough, most of these people do not have banking privileges and neither do banks aim to reach them.
On this context it is very important to take note of the fact laid down by trusted global and national studies that only 50% of India’s billion strong population has access to Banks. Hence these deprived small investors deposit their hard earned cash at Sahara to watch it grow for a safer future.
India’s truly indigenous partnership firm Sahara India has infrastructure throughout the country with more than 4700 offices which employ Lakhs of workers. Sahara was and is committed towards excellence for benefitting the society at large and continues to provide work and infrastructure services to Housing Finance, Mutual Benefit, Residuary Non Banking, OFC Debentures and Credit Co-operative Society as well as non-financial activities.
The branches and service centers of Sahara India follow strict, convenient, safe and financially beneficial policies which have been adopted to ensure priority utilization of a day’s money coming from the vast range of Sahara ventures to clear daily payments including establishment expenses, secured loans, prematurity, maturities, redemption and whatsoever which are entirely settled constitutionally at the headquarter level.
The strict aforesaid policy was followed primarily due to reasons enumerated as follows:
a. We have lost few lives of our fellow Sahara workers involved in shifting money from branches to banks and vice versa (more dangerous in the later scenario) over the years. Innumerable times have our men faced cases of snatching and robbery where some have succumbed to the serious injuries while many had to deal with minor injuries. Our men are wary of their safety to while shifting money from the deposits to the bank and vice versa as well. It is definitely neither cost effective nor viable to provide armed security at every juncture in more than four thousands of nationwide branches.
b. If the policy would have been to transfer all the collected money from our branches to the Headquarter and then back again to the branches for making payments, the entire procedure would have cost us a huge amount in the form of bank charges including further losses of interest which on continuous basis would have led to serious financial consequences that has hard hitting social impacts. This would have severely compromised with our strict day-to-day basis policy for payments.
Regarding large payments in short periods, SEBI is unwilling to understand the spread of Sahara’s network into 4700 centers across India. Careful calculations would reveal average daily financial transactions per branch to be around Rs. 2.5 Lakhs which in no way is a negligible phenomenon.
Out of the Rs. 5120 Crores deposited to SEBI by Sahara, SEBI has been able to repay only around Rs. 70 Lakhs to the investors in the last 17 months. SEBI has contemptuously ignored the Honorable Courts’ order by failing to initiate a single verification yet out of the 3 Crore investors in the last 17 months which includes the last few months of their total avoidance to report the valuation of Sahara’s assets submitted to them. We are indeed very happy this time to acknowledge the Honorable Court’s order for SEBI to come out soon with Sahara’s valuation report.