GITA PIRAMAL, writer, businessperson and former wife of Dilip Piramal of VIP industries, owns an offshore company set up in Panama in 1984, the latest cache of Panama Papers reveals. Panamanian law firm Mossack Fonseca’s internal documents show that in October 2015, two bearer shares of the entity, Notarial Investments Inc, were transferred to Gita Piramal.
On May 20, 2016, a little over a month after the Panama Papers expose, Mossack Fonseca’s Isle of Man office received a request from an intermediary seeking a correction in her name.
“We need a Certificate of Incumbency… as it appears that on the one we had last November the spelling of the shareholder is incorrect… Please note that the shareholder’s name is Gita Piramal not Gita Paramal as stated on the November Certificate,” the email reads.
By June 6, 2016, Mossack Fonseca made the correction and sent it for client’s approval before issuing the certificate. Later in the month, the firm requested for “the information of the Beneficial Owner of the company (name, proof of address and copy of ID), in order to comply with Panamanian legislation and dispatch the original document.”
On July 1, 2016, Gita Piramal’s MTNL telephone bill was provided as the proof of her Mumbai address along with her British passport.
The Certificate of Incumbency shows that the authorised capital of Notarial — registered on September 18, 1984 — was $ 10,000 divided into 100 shares. Gita Piramal held all two shares of the company issued at the nominal value of $1. Held as bearer shares since May 23, 1985, the shares were transferred to Piramal on October 8, 2015.
When contacted by The Indian Express, Piramal said she had declared her ownership of Notarial to regulatory and tax authorities in India and the UK. “My father, a UK citizen, incorporated the company for a residential flat which I inherited after his death,” she said.
Born in India, Gita Piramal did her schooling in the UK. She graduated and completed her PhD in Business History from Bombay University. Founder-editor of The Smart Manager, a management magazine launched in 2002, she has served in the boards of numerous companies. She authored several books including Business Maharajas, Business Legends and Business Mantras.