Don't invest in Sahara Q-shop, says Sebi
In a strong and well meaning move, the securities and exchange board of India (Sebi) on Saturday told investors in optionally fully convertible debentures (OFCDs) of Sahara group not to yield to pressure by Sahara agents and shift investments to Sahara Q shop.
Sahara Q Shop is an investment scheme from the Sahara India Parivar that is being marketed as a retail venture. Star cricketers including Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar have been part of a high profile campaign to promote Q-shop as a fight against adulteration(milwat se jung) in food and other consumer products.
The regulator also asked investors "not to yield to any pressure from any person, including Sahara or their agents, for converting or switching over their existing investments in the bonds or any of their other schemes like Q Shop etc."
It added, "please bring the details of any such instances to the notice of Sebi."
The supreme court on August 31, directed the above sahara firms to furnish details of over 30 million investors who bought OFCDs worth some 24,029 crore (Rs 240.29 billion). It asked Sebi to arrange refund for all these investors along with an interest of 15 per cent.
Sebi said, "The Saharas have not submitted relevant documents to Sebi as per the order of the Supreme Court. Sebi has been receiving complaints from investors that they are being forced by Saharas/their agents/officials to switch over their investments to other schemes in Sahara group companies like Sahara Q shop unique products range ltd, Sahara credit cooperative society ltd etc."
Some investors have even complained that switchover has already been done without their consent. In response to media queries earlier this week, a Sahara spokesperson had put the blame on some agents who are switching over to earn commissions. these agents have been asked to stop this practice, the spokesperson said.