AP govt to auction Agri Gold's assets to clear dues

Vijayawada:Around Rs 7,000 crore worth assets of the troubled AgriGold group of companies will be put to auction next month to clear the dues of over 32 lakh depositors in Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

AgriGold, a Vijayawada-headquartered company, landed in deep financial trouble after it started defaulting repayment of matured deposits for the last one year. Following pressure from depositors for settlement of their dues, the company promoters went underground, forcing the closure of the company. The company is said to have collected more than Rs 7,000 crore. With an agent base of over 3 lakh, it got into variety of businesses from cultivation, spices, pickles, masalas to real estate. However, unlike other fly-by-night operators, this group had assets worth more than the deposits.

Apart from ordering a CID probe into the company affairs, the AP government formed a committee involving financial experts to addresses the grievances of the 3.2 million depositors. “We assessed the assets attached by the government agencies and are convinced that the assets are more than the liabilities”, said government committee vice-chairman C Kutumba Rao. On Tuesday, chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu reviewed the progress of the case and directed officials to seek court permission to auction the attached assets of the company.

“The platform for auctioning of the properties is ready. Once we get the court nod, we will initiate the process”, said Narasimha Murthy, a member of the committee. The committee, in principle, decided to clear the dues of small depositors below Rs 20,000 and then the bigger ones. “The whole process will be completed in three to four months. This is the record time settlement in these kinds of cases in India”, Rao claimed. The government now hopes to get the court nod soon.

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