Sahara group announces plans to invest Rs32,400 crore, hire 56,000

03 February 2014

Sahara group, which is in a long-drawn legal battle with capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) over refund of over Rs24,000 crore illegally raised by its two housing subsidiaries to investors, has now announced plans to invest Rs32,400 crore and hire 56,000 new employees this year.

The investment spree, announced through big-scale newspaper advertisements, speaks of investments both within and outside the country and across various verticals, including dairy and poultry, food factory, education, international business (Macedonia - Europe), FMCG and retail (Sahara Q Shop), healthcare, luxury real estate and lifestyle services, cruise - Sahara Water Homes (Q Centres), CSR - Sahara Welfare Foundation (VEDAS), low cost housing and Sahara Swapna City, luxury retail (Sahara Global Mastercraft Ltd) and food and beverages and entertainment (Quick Service Restaurants).

Sahara India Parivar has invited applications for senior positions and staff for new projects and, according to the advertisement, more than 56,000 new jobs are to be filled by the end of the current year.

''As the Sahara India Pariwar is venturing into new businesses and we need more than 56000 Kartvyayogis….The recruitment will take place in phased manner. Currently we are having openings in various sectors such as dairy, poultry, fishery and allied agriculture, food factory, healthcare, construction, leisure and hospitality, education and retail,'' group publication Sahara Samay said.

''If you are a dynamic go-getter, you can join our Pariwar from anywhere across India. This is your exclusive chance to be a part of this Glorious Journey of 'entire' experience,'' it adds.

Over the next three years the group has projected creation of four lakh salaried jobs across industry verticals.

Sahara group has projected investments of Rs1,400 crore in luxury retail over five years and Rs5,172 crore investment in food and beverages and entertainment (Quick Service Restaurants), while an investment of Rs2,300 crore is planned in the healthcare sector over the next 5-7 years, according to the public notice.

Plans are also afoot to invest around Rs13,922 crore in a dairy project and another Rs9,600 crore in hospitality business in Macidonia (Europe).

The investment plans disclosed amount to a total of Rs32,394 crore and include four business verticals.

Despite the huge refund order of Rs24,000 crore on the group and an ongoing legal battle with SEBI over illegal raising of funds from the market, Sahara claims to have a market value of ''Rs1,52,518 crore" and a huge asset base, including a land bank of ''36,631 acres.''

Two group firms, Sahara India Real Estate Corp Ltd (SIREC) and Sahara India Housing Investment Corp Ltd (SHIC), had together raised over Rs24,000 crore from the public through optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCDs) without the necessary approval of market regulator SEBI.

After a long-drawn between SEBI and the group, the Supreme Court has ordered Sahara to refund the amount with 15 per cent interest to investors. Court also asked the group to comply with SEBI orders and submit documents relating to the raising of funds.

Sahara has so far deposited Rs5,120 crore with SEBI and claimed that it has already refunded more than Rs20,000 crore to investors directly.

The Supreme Court has refused to believe Sahara Group and has barred group chief Subrata Roy from leaving the country till the companies provide details of refunding Rs20,000 crore to investors.

The SC has also directed the group to place all documents, including bank statements sought by SEBI, before 11 February when further hearings on the case are scheduled to start.

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