On paltry security, co-op banks lend Rs 215 cr to Hebbalkar's firm

State Mahila Congress chief is MD of Harsha Sugars Pvt Ltd

On paltry security, co-op banks lend Rs 215 cr to Hebbalkar's firm

It is a common fact that one can’t get loans from cooperative banks if one lacks political clout. But it is not difficult if you are Lakshmi R Hebbalkar, president, Karnataka Mahila Congress.

A consortium of seven co-operative banks, with Apex Bank as the leader bank, has sanctioned a term loan of Rs 215 crore against a total security of 51 acres of industrial land worth not over Rs 1.69 crore in Savadatti taluk of Belagavi district. The huge term loan was offered to Harsha Sugars Pvt Ltd of which Lakshmi is the managing director.

The income tax department had raided the premises belonging to Lakshmi and Minister for Small Scale Industries Ramesh L Jarkiholi in January this year. The documents pertaining to Harsha Sugars were also under the scanner. A close examination of the documents relating to the businesses of Harsha Sugars, which were accessed by DH, revealed that the consortium of seven co-operative banks had sanctioned the term loan seven months after the company acquired 51 acres in Savadatti taluk.

After the purchase of the land, Harsha Sugars had got the clearance of the state high-level clearance committee headed by Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, in June 2015.
The documents show that the term loan agreement was executed between the consortium of co-operative banks and Harsha Sugars on October 13, 2015 and a supplementary deed of equitable mortgage by deposit of title deeds was executed on December 16, 2015.

In both the agreements, Harsha Sugars, a company incorporated under the Companies Act, was represented by its managing director Lakshmi R Hebbalkar and director Channaraj B Hattiholi, Lakshmi's brother.

The consortium of banks is led by Karnataka State Co-operative Apex Bank (Rs 50 crore) and six other co-operative banks which are: The South Canara District Central Co-operative Bank Kodialbail, Mangaluru (Rs 30 crore), The Bajpe Vyavasaya Seva Sahakari Bank, Bajpe, Dakshina Kannada (Rs 20 crore), The Bagalkot District Central Co-operative Bank of Bagalkot (Rs 40 crore), The Bijapur District Central Co-operative Bank of Solapur (Rs 25 crore), The Tumkur District Central Co-operative Bank, Tumakuru (Rs 25 crore) and The Kanara District Central Co-operative Bank Ltd in Sirsi Uttara Kannada district (Rs 25 crore).

Interestingly, Sri Vishwakarma Urban Credit Souharda Sahakari Niyamit of Gokak district and The Bangalore, Bangalore Rural and Ramanagar District Central Co-operative Bank, Chamarajpet, Bengaluru, which were part of the consortium in October 2015 opted out of it in the deed executed in December 2015. The two banks had sanctioned Rs 25 crore each to Harsha Sugars on September 28 and September 11 respectively.

The board of directors of Harsha Sugars had appointed Lakshmi and Hattiholi to approach the leader bank (Apex Bank) and the other banks, seeking sanction of Rs 215 crore loan to set up 5,000 TCD sugar plant with 30 MW co-gen power plant at survey number 411 at Savadatti village in Belagavi district. The lands pledged as security for the loan are in survey numbers 411/1 (4.02 acres), 411/2 (4.2 acres), 411/3 (4.1 acres), 412 (17.01 acres) and 413/1 (22.06 acres).

Hebbalkar didn’t respond to several calls made by DH to her personal mobile phone. In response to a message texted to her phone, she replied that she would call back.

Land conversion in a jiffy

A certain Panchanagouda Basanagouda Dymanagoudar had purchased the entire 51 acres of agricultural land from different farmers in Savadatti for Rs 1 lakh per acre in December 2014. After buying the land, he filed an application with the Belagavi deputy commissioner seeking conversion of the land for industrial purpose. The application was filed on February 12, 2015 and the order sanctioning conversion was passed on February 26. In March 2015, Dymanagoudar sold the entire land to Harsha Sugars.

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