Close to 9 lakh registered companies are not filing annual returns with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) and are a potential source of money laundering, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said today.
The MCA has sent notices to nearly 3 lakh unlisted companies asking them to deregister themselves and issuance of notices to the remaining is under way. Speaking at the Enforcement Day event here, Adhia said out of the 15 lakh companies, only 6 lakh are filing their returns, including annual audited report, with the MCA. “How can we have in this country almost 8-9 lakh companies which are not filing any return to the government and they have become a potential threat, a potential source of money laundering. So, the task force has taken it up in right earnest,” he said.
In a major crackdown on domestic shell companies, the government in February had decided to take “harsh punitive” action, including freezing of their bank accounts used to launder money or evade taxes. The task force set up with members from regulatory ministries and enforcement agencies held its meeting this week. “After registering (with the MCA), if companies do not file their return to the MCA, then there is no reason for us to let such companies operate in India. They become a potential threat. That is one strategy that we are working on,” Adhia said.