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Unitech board working on resolution plan but coronavirus outbreak a stumbling block: Hiranandani

On January 20, the apex court allowed the Centre to take total management control of the embattled realty firm and appoint a new board of nominee directors.

March 26, 2020 / 09:06 PM IST

The newly-constituted board of directors of embattled real estate firm Unitech is working on the resolution plan to complete the stalled 12,000 housing units but the pace has slowed due to the coronavirus pandemic, its member Niranjan Hiranandani said on March 26.

Sources had earlier told Moneycontrol that the board was hopeful of finalising the resolution plan to complete stuck projects and submitting it before the Supreme Court by March-end.

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"The board is working on resolution plan but now, with the pandemic crisis, things are moving slow. But, we are definitely working," Hiranandani said in a tweet while responding to a query.

Sources told Moneycontrol that the next meeting scheduled for March 28 has been postponed.

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The board has appointed Deloitte to prepare a resolution plan for the company, sources said.

As for raising funds to complete the stuck projects, it should be noted that at the last hearing on January 20, the Centre made it clear that it would not infuse any funds for completion of pending projects of the company.

Some seed money may be required to kick-start the projects.

“This may come from the amount currently held with the court’s registry, monetisation of land banks held with the company and registration of completed units. The Board also intends proposing certain concessions to the court which may be enough to complete the around 12,000 stuck housing units within a period of three years,” sources had told Moneycontrol.

The board may also access the government's Rs 25,000-crore fund for last-mile financing of the projects at a later date, sources said.

The Supreme Court in January had approved the nomination of eight directors to the board of Unitech, now being run by the government. The board was constituted on January 21.

On January 20, the top court allowed the Centre to take the total management control of the embattled realty firm and appoint a new board of nominee directors. It asked the new board to submit its report in two months on the resolution framework of the company.

It approved the name of retired Haryana cadre IAS officer Yudvir Singh Malik as the chairman and managing director (CMD) of the new board and directed that the existing board of directors of the company would stand superseded.

It had also approved the names of members of the board, which include Anoop Kumar Mittal, ex-CMD of National Buildings Construction Corporation (NBCC); Renu Sud Karnad, Chairman of HDFC Credila Finance Services Pvt; Jitu Virwani, CMD of Embassy Group; and Niranjan Hiranandani, Managing Director of Mumbai-based Hiranandani Group. Prabhakar Singh, Director General, Central Public Works Department (CPWD), was also appointed as director by the court.

Girish Kumar Ahuja has been appointed as the director. He is the Centre's nominee director at SBI; B Sriram has also been appointed as the director. He is the former MD and CEO of IDBI Bank and former MD of SBI.

Unitech promoters Sanjay Chandra and his brother Ajay Chandra are currently lodged in Tihar jail for allegedly siphoning off homebuyers' money.

The realty firm is facing the wrath of the court in a case related to alleged siphoning of homebuyers' money. The matter pertains to a criminal case lodged in 2015 by 158 home buyers of Unitech projects' -- 'Wild Flower Country' and 'Anthea Project' -- situated in Gurugram.
Moneycontrol News
first published: Mar 26, 2020 09:03 pm

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