Case number 19 in the NewsX NPA list is Presstech Litho Pvt Ltd. According to our list, the company owes Indian Bank Rs 11 crore which has now been classified as a Non-Performing Asset. The registered address of the company is 11/1, sunny park, 1st floor, Juthika Apartment, Kolkata. According to the data with the registrar of companies with the ministry of corporate affairs, Presstech Litho was incorporated in October 2000 with an authorized capital of Rs 1 crore 66 thousand. The company held it’s last AGM in September 2008 and filed its last balance sheet in March 2008.
Today we bring to you a case where a decade-old printing press which has been running large NPAs still pops up on government notices calling for bids. This is a story that tests our capacity to update data and keep up and shows why systemic and national awareness on NPAs is needed. According to the ROC records, the directors of the company are Pratap Shankar Dawn and Suvranshu Mitra. The same names appear on the NewsX NPA list as well. The records show multiple other loans from different banks. A loan of Rs 2.5 crore, another loan of Rs 1 crore, then the 3rd loan of Rs 5 crore, a 4th loan of Rs 2 crore. The list doesn’t end there, there is a 5th loan of Rs 8 crore and yet another loan of Rs 12 crore. So besides the Rs 11 crore amount on our NPA list, Presstech Litho owes banks a total of more than Rs 31 crore rupee according to the ROC.
According to the ROC records, Pratap Shankar Dawn has 4 other companies listed under him, which were incorporated between 1995 and 2009. We decided to check the ROC records for the rest of the companies as well. While 3 of them had clear accounts, the company incorporated in 1995 – Archii flexible and Packaging Pvt Ltd had an additional loan of Rs 18 crore to Bank of India. This is the only loan that didn’t correspond with the previous list. When we visited the registered address, we found that the office had been locked up and sold off by the directors of the company, whose whereabouts were not known to anyone in the area.
When we dug further, we found a number of government notices calling bidders for printing contracts. From the directorate general of hydrocarbons, and the ministry of rural development to the food safety and standard authority of India. All the invitations for quotations had one name in common- Presstech Litho Pvt Ltd. The most recent notice being of the national archives of India from December 2017. Presstech Litho Pvt Ltd has been listed as an ‘a’ category printer. As we followed the paper trail, we found that while Presstech’s registered address is in Kolkata, the printing press operates out of Delhi. This was confirmed by this State Bank of India e-auction notice for the Presstech office in Udyog Vihar, Greater Noida.
The notice names the guarantor as Pratap Shankar Dawn, who is also mentioned on our NPA list. According to this notice, the property has been put up for auction to recover Rs 17 crore 92 lakh rupees. But the reserve price for the same property is a measly .52 lakh rupees! NewsX decided to hit the ground once again and check the printing press in Greater Noida. We found that the company had shut down 8-10 years back. A guard further told us that the property was seized by the bank and bank officials visit the property once in a while, but it hasn’t been sold off yet. We’ve written an email to the company, but haven’t received a response yet.
This is the first case where we wrote to the bank and received a response. In the email, the bank told us that while there isn’t a pending loan for Press Tech under their branch, they do have a loan pending for Archii Printing and Packaging Ltd. The gaurantee for this loan has been given by Presstech Litho. Going back to the ROC records, we found that Archii Printing and Packaging Ltd is a company under Suvranshu Mitra.
Have a quick look at the ROC records for this company as well. Here’s a loan of Rs 50 lakh, Rs 1 crore, Rs 2.5 crore, another loan of Rs 65 lakhs, then a loan of Rs 5 crore, then this loan of Rs 2.5 crore, another loan of Rs 8 crore, then a loan of Rs 10 crore, and a last loan of Rs 8 crore rupees. So a printing press set up in 2000 by Pratap Shankar Dawn and Suvranshu Mitra runs up large NPAs with several banks. One of the directors then sets up Archii printing and Packaging for which the original firm serves as guarantor and then runs up further large loans. The registered office of the company is sold, the printing press is closed but it appears several times on contract lists of government-run departments as an ‘a’ category printer.
This is another case that exposes again how many loans are run upon such little collateral. The banks lost Rs 17 crore in one case, but the building they’re hoping to sell is valued only at Rs 52 lakh and even then, almost a decade later it remains unsold. The money yet to come back to the system.