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Punjab Minister set up firm that helped fund sand mine auction

The Memorandum of Understanding of the company has the name and signature of Rana Gurjit Singh and his nephew Rana Hardeep Singh. In 2003, the name of the firm was changed to RGS Traders Pvt Ltd.

Written by Man Aman Singh Chhina | Chandigarh | Updated: October 14, 2017 6:55:26 am
 Rana Gurjit Singh, Punjab Minister corruption, Punjab power minister, Punjab minister sand mine auction, Rana Gurjit Singh sand mine auction, India news, Indian Express Punjab Irrigation and Power Minister Rana Gurjit Singh. (File)

One of the companies which helped fund the sand mine auction in Punjab, RGS Traders Pvt Ltd, was incorporated by Irrigation and Power Minister and Congress leader Rana Gurjit Singh in 1992, and is linked to another firm, Jay Aar Builders Pvt Ltd, which also helped fund the auction.

Documents filed with the Ministry of Corporate Affairs (MCA) and accessed by The Indian Express show that RGS Traders Pvt Ltd, which invested Rs 35 lakh in Rajbir Enterprises, a firm that helped fund 50 per cent of the bid amount for two sand mines — allotted to two former employees of the Minister — was originally formed as Rana Funds and Investments Private Limited.

RGS Traders Pvt Ltd had been incorporated in the name of Rana Funds and Investments Ltd in 1992 with the Registrar of Companies. The Memorandum of Understanding of the company has the name and signature of Rana Gurjit Singh and his nephew Rana Hardeep Singh. In 2003, the name of the firm was changed to RGS Traders Pvt Ltd. Punjab Minister Rana Gurjit Singh took loans from firms that funded mine auction

Proceedings of the company’s 2015 annual general meeting show that it made a “related party disclosure” that Jay Aar Builders Pvt Ltd was an associate company. Jay Aar Builders, as The Indian Express reported yesterday, invested Rs 36 lakh in the sand mine auction.

Asked about his links with RGS Traders, Rana Gurjit Singh told The Indian Express yesterday that the firm just shared a common registered address with his family-owned Rana Group of companies as one of the directors, Sukhjeet Singh Poonia, was his relative. However, another document submitted with the MCA pertaining to shareholding pattern of the company in 2006 shows Rana Gurjit Singh holding shares in it. While 96010 shares are listed against the minister’s name, Rana Hardeep Singh is shown as having 2010 shares.

When the minister was asked if the initials “RGS” in the firm stood for his name “Rana Gurjit Singh,” he said this was not true. The minister added that he had no business dealings through any of his firms for the past 19 years.

Records also show that the brother of the minister, Rana Ranjit Singh, was appointed director of the company in October 2003 and the minister’s son, Rana Inder Pratap Singh, was appointed director in April 2004. The principal business activity of the firm is listed as wholesale of sugar.

The Indian Express had yesterday reported on the Minister’s links with three firms, RJ Texfab Pvt Ltd, RGS Traders Pvt Ltd and Jay Aar Builders Pvt Ltd. RGS Traders was found to have the same address as that of Rana Group of Companies, the family business of the Minister and also shared the same email ID. The Minister and his wife were also found to have taken loans worth Rs 16.42 crore from these three firms which was mentioned in the election affidavit submitted by him earlier this year.

A commission of inquiry set up by the Punjab government to inquire into Rana Gurjit’s role in the sand mines auction which took place in May this year had given a clean chit to the minister. The inquiry by retired High Court judge Justice J S Narang mentioned the names of the firms, including these three, but it did not probe the minister’s links with them.

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