In recent data released by Union Ministry of Corporate Affairs on Sunday revealed that more than 2.24 lakh companies have been struck off for being inactive for more than two years. Some of the companies are expected to be shell companies. The action was taken by the Central government on the data provided by 56 banks of about 58,000 bank accounts and 35,000 companies. According to the initial investigation revealed that around Rs 17,000 crore was withdrawn and deposited after the introduction of demonetisation by Narendra Modi government on November 8, 2016.

According to reports, one firm, which had a negative opening balance, deposited and withdrew Rs 2,484 crore after demonetisation another company was found to have 2,134 accounts. After forgery came to light government seized bank accounts of such alleged bogus firms, restricted sale and transfer of movable or immovable assets of such companies. State governments have also been asked block registration of such transactions. Prime Minister’s Office had formed a special task force and initiated the move to strike-off the firms that were not operative.

The drive is carried out by the task force against defaulting companies. The task force is working in a very close coordination with other enforcement agencies. The team is chaired by Revenue Secretary and Secretary, Corporate Affairs. The task force has held several meetings and has launched many actions against the dubious defaulting firms. As per reports, the drive is part of Prime Minister’s crackdown on black money.

“In one case, a company which had a negative opening balance on November 8, deposited and withdrew Rs 2,484 Cr post-demonetisation,” the statement said.

The Corporate Affairs Ministry said that the information with respect to such companies had been shared with enforcement authorities, including the Central Board of Direct Taxes, Financial Intelligence Unit, Department of Financial Services and Reserve Bank of India for further necessary action.

“Separately, action has also been taken to disqualify directors on the board of companies that have failed to file financial statements or annual returns for a continuous period of three financial years during 2013-14 to 2015-16,” the statement said.

“Around 3.09 lakh directors have been affected by this action. A preliminary inquiry has shown that over 3,000 disqualified directors are directors in more than 20 companies each, which is beyond the limit prescribed under the law,” the statement added.