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Home Trade resorted to `window-dressing'

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MUMBAI, May 23

HOME Trade Ltd had shown an artificial profit of about Rs 63 crore for the year 2000-01 by window-dressing accounts and reporting fake transactions in the shares of group company Ways India Ltd, the Investors' Grievances Forum (IGF) alleged on Thursday.

The promoter of Home Trade, Mr Sanjay Agarwal, is currently in police custody in Nagpur, allegedly for defrauding several co-operative banks of crores of rupees in what is now known as the gilts scam.

Speaking to newspersons here, IGF President and BJP MP, Mr Kirit Somaiya, said of the gross income of about Rs 67 crore that Home Trade had shown for the year, Rs 63 crore had come from purchase and sale of shares of Ways India and other unlisted group companies. According to Mr Somaiya, the company has shown a book entry of 1.08 crore shares of Rs 2 each of Ways India sold at Rs 60 per share, which were purchased from other group companies in the previous year. Through the intra-group sale-and-purchase transaction, Home Trade has booked a profit of Rs 58 per share, he said.

The notes to the accounts of Home Trade said during the year the company sold 1,08,50,000 shares of Rs 2 each of Ways India, there being no comparative quotation as on date of transfer, the shares were sold based on the valuation of the independent chartered accountant on which the auditors have relied.

IGF said Home Trade had done a similar window-dressing in the previous year (1999-2000) too when it showed a sale of 1.55 crore shares of Ways India at Rs 17.26 per share to a group concern.

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