The Sahara Group which is running a long battle with capital market regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) over refunding over Rs20,000 crore of investor money, has now been finding it difficult to pay salaries to its employees.
A day after the group sought employee contributions to the tune of Rs5,000 crore to raise the Rs10,000 needed to secure bail for group chairman Subrata Roy, Sahara told its staff that their salaries may get delayed due to prevailing adverse situation, including attachment of its bank accounts.
Sahara said staff salaries for March 2014, scheduled to be released tomorrow, may get delayed because of "unforeseen reasons," adding that the group is working hard to normalise things despite adverse conditions.
Sahara India Pariwar's chief general manager (HR) Gaurav Sharma issued a circular to all business divisions and department heads of the group to inform workers about the delay and urge them "to stay united in this challenging phase".
Sahara group has been delaying the refund of Rs24,000 crore in refunds to investors of its Optionally Fully Convertible Debentures (OFCDs) by two realty firms of the group saying that it had already refunded Rs20,000 crore to investors besides the Rs5,120 crore it deposited with SEBI in December 2012.
SEBI rejected the arguments and in February 2013 ordered attachment of all bank accounts and all its assets frozen last year.
Meanwhile, Sahara had earlier floated another circular for collection of at least Rs1 lakh from each Sahara employee and 'well-wishers' to garner at least half of the Rs10,000 crore needed as bond for the release of group chief Subrata Roy on bail from Tihar Jail (See: Sahara turns to employees for Rs10,000-cr needed to bail out Subrata Roy).
65-year-old Roy has been in Tihar jail since 4 March.
The Supreme Court had earlier this month proposed a conditional interim bail for Roy if the group deposits Rs10,000 crore, including Rs5,000 crore as bank guarantee.