DHFL owners booked in PMAY scam
The CBI has unearthed a scam linked to the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and registered a
case against Kapil Wadhawan and Dheeraj Wadhawan, promoters of Dewan Housing Finance Corporation Limited (DHFL), for allegedly defrauding Rs 1,887 crore in interest subsidy from the government of India.
The two brothers are already in jail facing fraud and money laundering charges in connection with the Yes Bank scam.
Sources in the agency said the Dhawan brothers had allegedly created fake and fictitious home loan accounts and availed themselves of Rs 1,887 crore in interest subsidy from the Indian government.
PMAY — Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ambitious housing project for the poor — was announced in October 2015. The programme addresses urban housing shortage among the economically weaker sections, low and middle-income group categories, including slum dwellers, by ensuring a pucca house to all eligible urban households by 2022.
The scheme is being implemented by the ministry of housing and urban affairs.
Under the scheme, housing loans granted to people from the economically weaker sections and low and middle income groups are eligible for credit-linked interest subsidy. The subsidy is to be claimed by the financing institutions such as DHFL that have granted these loans.
According to the CBI’s FIR, DHFL claimed that till December 2018 it had processed 88,651 loans under PMAY and received Rs 539.40 crore in subsidies with a further Rs 1,347.80 crore due.
The agency has alleged that forensic audits revealed that Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan had opened 2.60 lakh fake housing loan accounts – several of which were under the PMAY scheme and claimed interest subsidies — in a fictitious Bandra branch of the organisation.
“The forensic report of auditor firm M/S Grant Thompton, which was appointed by the present board of DHFL, revealed that Kapil and his brother Dheeraj Wadhawan had opened a fictitious Bandra branch of DHFL, where fake housing loan accounts were created in the data base,” the CBI has said in its FIR.
The maximum loan amount eligible under the PMAY scheme is Rs 24 lakh. The subsidy amount is to be claimed by the financial institutions from National Housing Bank (NHB). The Centre disburses the subsidy amount to the NHB out of the budgetary provisions in the Union budget.
“The interest subsidy varies from 3 per cent per annum to 6.5 per cent per annum and the subsidy is payable upfront with a cap of Rs 2,30,156 to Rs 2,67,280 depending upon the category in which the borrower falls,” the CBI said in the FIR.
“Source information revealed that several of bogus account in non-existent Bandra branch of DHFL was opened under PMAY and interest subsidy as per norms of PMAY were claimed from National Housing Bank with connivance of officials of NHB and thus committed fraud on the government exchequer.”
The CBI has booked DHFL and its directors under Indian Penal Code Sections relating to criminal conspiracy, criminal breach of trust by public servant, cheating, forgery for cheating and use of forged document as genuine besides criminal misconduct by unknown public servants under the Prevention of Corruption Act.
In June last year the CBI had filed a chargesheet against the Wadhawan brothers and Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor in connection with suspicious loans sanctioned by Yes Bank and alleged quid pro kickbacks received by Kapoor and his family from Wadhawans for investing in DHFL.
DHFL is also named as an accused in the Yes Bank scam.
The Wadhawan brothers were arrested in April last year while Kapoor was arrested in March last year.