The CBI on Wednesday unearthed a scam linked to the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana (PMAY) and registered a case against Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan, brothers who are promoters of crisis-hit Dewan Housing Finance Limited (DHFL) and are in jail over fraud and money-laundering charges.
According to the CBI, Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan created “fake and fictitious” home loan accounts amounting to more than Rs 11,755 crore and, on the basis of these fake accounts, availed Rs 1,880 crore in interest subsidy from the Government of India.
The PMAY – a central scheme to ensure housing for all – was announced in October 2015.
Under the scheme housing loans granted to people from Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) and those from Low and Middle Income Groups are eligible for credit-linked interest subsidy.
The subsidy is to be claimed by financing institutions – like DHFL – that have granted these loans.
According to the CBI, in December 2018 DHFL told investors it had processed 88,651 loans under PMAY and received Rs 539.4 crore in subsidies, with a further Rs 1,347.8 crore due.
However, forensic audits revealed that Kapil and Dheeraj Wadhawan had opened 2.6 lakh fake housing loan accounts – several of which were under the PMAY scheme and claimed interest subsidies as per its rules – in a fictitious Bandra branch of the organisation.
Between 2007 and 2019 ‘loans’ amounting to Rs 14,046 crore were sanctioned to these accounts, the CBI has alleged, of which Rs 11,755.79 were deposited to other fictitious firms.
In June last year the CBI filed a chargesheet against the Wadhawan brothers and Yes Bank founder Rana Kapoor, after it was alleged that Mr Kapoor’s family received kickbacks for investing in DHFL.
That scam took place between April and June in 2018 when Yes Bank invested Rs 3,700 crore of public money in short-term debentures of DHFL. In return, the Wadhawans allegedly paid kickback of Rs 600 crore to Mr Kapoor in the form of loans to a firm controlled by his wife and daughters.
The Wadhawan brothers were arrested in April last year. Mr Kapoor was arrested in March.