IFB Agro board approves contributions worth up to Rs 40 crore to political parties

Kolkata-based distillery and bottling company IFB Agro Industries Ltd’s board of directors has approved “contributions to political parties by way of subscription to the electoral bonds in one or more tranches aggregating not more than Rs 40 crore for the financial year 2022-23”, the company informed the stock exchanges.

In the filing signed by IFB Agro’s Chief Financial Officer Rahul Choudhary, the company said it was writing in continuation to its earlier letters to the stock exchanges “wherein we have intimated about excise related issues being faced by/affecting the company”.

The company had also made an exchange filing on October 7 that was similarly worded but pertained to subscription of electoral bonds “aggregating not more than Rs 25 crore for the financial year 2021-22”. It had even cited the excise related issues back then.

For the quarter-ending December 2021, IFB Agro had reported a revenue of Rs 632 crore, and a net profit of Rs 8.59 crore.

In a filing on June 26, 2020, the company had informed the exchanges that its distillery in Noorpur, South 24 Parganas, West Bengal was attacked a day earlier “by a group of more than 150 armed goons. These unidentified hooligans, armed with various types of weapons, forcibly entered the factory, beat up the security guards and practically held our employees/workers on duty as hostage. They also damaged the CCTV cameras, computers, medical room etc. inside the factory”.

“We have sought help from the Chief Minister of West Bengal and also from Finance, Commerce and Industry Minister of the State of West Bengal. We are awaiting better environment before the plant can be re-opened,” it had added.

However, later that year, in December 2020, the company made another filing where it said that the unit, which was closed as a result of the attack, was opened on July 2, 2020 after police protection was provided by local authorities, but, “till date no offenders have been brought to book”.

It added: “Further, the alcohol business of the company has been suffering and is under threat, as we have been singled out by certain excise officials for not succumbing to their illegal demands… (We) have requested the Hon’ble Chief Minister of West Bengal and also from Hon’ble Finance, Commerce and Industry Minister of the State of West Bengal to look into/investigate the same. This is for your information and record”.

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