The mass outbreak of the baleful IL&FS bonds virus is engulfing more and more entities with the passing of each day. With NCLAT scheduled to hear the case again on Tuesday and some element of a consensus evolving on whether repayments of Provident and Pension Funds should be prioritised, working-class people from 1,400 firms amounting to Rs 9,700 crore of their lifelong hard work are waiting with bated breath for any sort of direction from the tribunal.
Over the last couple of days, IANS has been writing about how salaried employees of blue-chip public and private sector firms are stranded with their life’s savings pledged with these funds which have exposure to what were once ‘triple-A’ rated bonds. The contagion now a full-fledged pandemic has touched the government’s flagship National Pension Scheme, academic institutions and MNCs. Thousands of employees, both blue and white collar, are awaiting salvation on this dark road to perdition.
Now, IANS learns that media and advertising entities to haven’t been spared by this widespread virus. The Times of India Provident Fund has many entries of Rs 12.95 crore, Rs 5.40 crore, Rs 2.95 crore and other amounts, just as BBC Worldwide India staff provident fund has exposure. Similarly, Pune-based Sakal Papers Ltd and Kerala-based Mathrubhumi EPF too have their funds exposed to the bonds. Ditto for publishers Oxford University Press, ad agencies Hindustan Thompson, McCann Erickson and R.K. Swamy Advertising Associates PF.
Perhaps the biggest travesty is the long list of orphanages and hospitals who have exposure – for instance, the celebrated Breach Candy Hospital Trust Staff PF or the J.N. Petit Parsi Orphanage PF, Hindustan Charity Trust PF, Seamens PF, Bombay Scottish Orphanage EPF and New Delhi Holy Family Society EPF.
One of India’s largest cooperatives IFFCO has multiple entries as IFFCO EPF and as IFFCO-Tokio General Insurance (ITGI). Equally, Khadi Gramodyog Sangh EPF, Southern Railway Employees Credit Coop Society are also named in the MCA supplementary affidavit. The prestigious Doon School EPF trust and the elitist Sanskriti School for government servants’ children too are named.