Number 14 in the NewsX’s Non-Performing Asset (NPA) files is PKS ltd. Our list shows the company owes State Bank of India Rs 144 crore which has been classified as an NPA. The registered address is 7 Camac Street, Azimgunj House Kolkata.
Interestingly, PKS limited has been mentioned twice in our NPA list. The same company also allegedly owes Union Bank of India Rs 133 crore rupees, taking its total NPA amount according to our list to Rs 277 crore rupees.
According to the Registrar of Companies Data with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs, PKS limited was incorporated in 1982, with an authorised capital of Rs 15 crore rupees. The company held it’s last AGM on 30th September 2015 and filed the last balance sheet on 3rd March 2015. According to the official website, PKS limited is a 3-star export house based in Kolkata. It deals with exports of agricultural commodities, gold jewellery and machineries to country across the world. The same company has also mentioned a plethora of awards won by them for excellence in exports.
This is a story of how a decade old export house has been allegedly defaulting on loans with several banks, and has managed to continue it’s operations with the office still active. Have a look at a further examination of the ROC records. Here’s another loans of Rs 8 crore, one another of Rs 462 crore, then a third loan of Rs 26 crore, a fourth loan of Rs 72 crore, then yet another loan of Rs 170 crore, and a number of other loans from State Bank of India going back to 1986. The total according to the ROC records is Rs 943 crore. The directors of company according to the ROC records are Swapan Kumar Saha, Narayan Chandra Saha and Gopal Saha.
These are the same names on the NewsX NPA list. Swapan Kumar Saha, listed as the managing director on the official website for PKS limited, has these five other companies listed under his name, with the latest addition of Star Continental Exports Pvt ltd beginning in 2009.
This is the first case where NewsX visited the office and actually found it to be active. When we hit the ground, we found that the directors were not available to meet but the company was still up and running. An employee of the firm refused to comment on the status of the defaults, calling the matter sub-judice. All further attempts to solicit an official statement from the company were rejected.
In 2014, State Bank of India listed Swapan Kumar Saha as a wilful defaulter. The issue came before the Calcutta High Court, the court ruled in Saha’s favour stating that SBI had failed to satisfy the legal definition of wilful but that didn’t take away the pending loans. So this is what we know; Swapan Kumar Saha in 1982 sets up PKS as an export house. NC Saha and Gopal Saha become directors in 1993 and 2000 respectively. In the NewsX NPA files, the owe SBI and Union Bank Rs 277 crores. ROC records show unpaid loans of upto Rs 943 crores. In 2014, the SBI tried to declare Saha as a wilful defaulter but the willful part was disputed in court. The company is still in operation at it’s registered address.
This is a case that tests India’s definition then of NPAs. What’s the difference between bad business decisions made honestly that just went wrong, when hundreds of crores are lost, is it better that the company keep running in the hope that it can over time pay back the loans. Should more loans be given to help salvage earlier loans or is it better to stop throwing good money after bad? These are the important questions India faces. Every NPA is not a savage loot or scam, but every NPA is a burden on our banks. As part of the NewsX investigation, we’re raising all sides of story. All issues that require attention, discussion and progress.