Congress again accuses Goyal of hiding asset information

New Delhi, April 30  The Congress on Monday continued to attack Union Minister Piyush Goyal over his sale of shares in a privately-held company at nearly 1,000 times the face value, asking why did it not reflect in his asset declaration.

Citing a news website's report, the Congress on Sunday said Goyal and his wife sold the entire stocks of Flashnet Info Solutions (India) to Piramal Estates for an "astronomical price" of Rs 9,586 per share totalling Rs 48 crore, or 1,000 times the book value.

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) replied by saying Flashnet shares were sold in July 2014 before the declaration of assets and liabilities was submitted to the Prime Minister's Office (PMO) on July 25, Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera told the media here, but added that company's Directors' Report 2015 states September 29, 2014 as the date of sale of 27,010 shares by Goyal and 23,010 by his wife Seema Goyal.

Targeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress spokesperson said as more questions emerge, "Modiji scurries for cover behind fake aggression and innuendo".

Khera accused the BJP of changing its stand in relation to its earlier accusation concerning Shirdi Industries.

He said a BJP press release dated April 4 said issues after 2010 in Shirdi Industries have nothing to do with Goyal as he has no role in the company after July 1, 2010 and in its April 28 release, it said some shares held in that company as an investment were sold in December 2013.

The declaration made by Goyal for 2014, dated July 24, mentions Rs 101,300 as the total value of "unquoted securities (book value)" and his declaration of assets with the PMO dated March 31, 2015, by which time he had sold his shares in Flashnet, mentions the exact same sum -- Rs 101,300, said the Congress spokesman.

"If the shares were sold on September 29, 2014, why is there no change in the holding value of shares in Goyal's asset declaration prior to sale and post sale?"

Khera also asked who were the consultants in the service of the company until March 31, 2014 apart from Goyal.

"How was Flashnet with a net worth of Rs 12.50 crore as on March 31, 2014 valued at Rs 50 crore within a few months? Why is Goyal shying from making the valuation report of Flashnet public?"

The BJP has termed the Congress' allegations "baseless, malicious and incorrect" while the Piramal Group had also denied the charges.