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Mumbai: Refuting charges of misappropriation of around Rs 98,000 crore by its Chairman Sameer Gehlaut and other directors, Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd (IBHFL) has said that the allegation is “bizzare” and is meant to malign the reputation of the company.The statement comes after a plea was filed in the Supreme Court on Monday seeking legal action against Indiabulls Housing Finance, Gehlaut and the directors for the alleged misappropriation of public money. Also Read – SC declines Oil Min request to stay sharing of documentsThe petition alleged that money worth thousands of crores were siphoned off by Gehlaut and the directors of the firm for their personal use. “The total loans on the books of Indiabulls Housing are approxRs 90,000 crores. The allegation of siphoning-off Rs 98,000 crores is bizarre,” the company said in a regulatory filing. The company said that a racket of blackmailers has been trying to extort money from Indiabulls over the last two months threatening to write complaints to various government departments alleging siphoning off of Rs 55,000 crore if Rs 10 crore was not paid to them, following which the company filed an FIR on June 4. Also Read – World suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’, says new IMF chiefIt further said that one of the people involved in the blackmail was arrested on June 7. Following the arrest, the group of people involved floated another complaint enhancing the amount concerned to Rs 98,000 crore, it said. The company said the writ petition is a “desperate attempt” to malign its reputation. Indiabulls Housing Finance also mentioned that the petitioner had bought four shares in the company a month back. Meanwhile, shares of Indiabulls Housing Finance Ltd dropped 8 per cent on Tuesday following allegations of siphoning off Rs 98,000 crore of public money. The scrip plunged 7.97 per cent to close at Rs 674.65 on the BSE. During the day, it tumbled 8.77 per cent to Rs 668.70. On the NSE, shares of the company tanked 8 per cent to close at Rs 674.15. As many as 25.70 lakh shares of the company were traded on the BSE, while over three crore shares changed hands on the NSE.
“Children from the very countries and regions where needs are most acute are missing out on this vital assistance. We urge our supporters not to forget the value the school meals programme brings – a key vehicle to reduce poverty, hunger and malnutrition – and not let more than a million children slip deeper or back into in poverty and hunger,” the World Food Programme’s Regional Director for West Africa, Abdou Dieng, said in a news release.“We urgently need US$48 million to start or continue our school meals assistance,” he added.In the news release, WFP note that dwindling resources, shifting donor priorities and changed financing mechanisms in some countries have conspired to create a funding gap and jeopardize programmes. However, unless vital funding comes through in the next month, more than half a million children across Cameroon, Mali, Mauritania and Niger could start the school year without the meals they have come to rely upon and, by the end of 2016, assistance will run out for a further 700,000 children in 11 other countries.School meals have been a lifeline for childrenWFP is the top sponsor of such initiatives in West and Central Africa. While in some countries the government and other agencies lead or complement the UN agency’s programme, in most of the region WFP is the sole or main provider of school meals, targeting areas where hunger and malnutrition levels are highest. Year after year, the agency noted, it has been forced by financial constraints to shrink its areas of coverage. As schools reopen across Guinea, WFP is resuming its school meals programme in all four regions of the country. Photo: WFP/Sanoussy Barry “In most countries in West and Central Africa – in the grip of chronic hunger and malnutrition, and increasingly affected by conflict – school meals have been a lifeline for children, as they are often the only regular and nutritious meals they receive,” said Mr. Dieng.In Chad – where, in some regions, as many as four-fifths of the population do not get enough food for a healthy life – WFP’s school meals programme has shrunk by more than 90 per cent in the past three years due to funding shortages, from more than 200,000 children assisted in 2013 to just 15,000 in 2016. In Senegal, current resources will cover school meals for less than a fifth of the children targeted by the programme. In Mauritania and Cameroon, funds ran out during the 2015-2016 school year, forcing WFP to halt assistance in January and May respectively. In Guinea, WFP will halve its assistance this school year.WFP also flagged that during or after conflict in the Central African Republic, Mali and Niger, or in the aftermath of a major health crisis such as the Ebola outbreak, school meals have played an important role in providing children in need with nutritious meals; encouraging families to send their children to school; and, more broadly, helping children regain their childhood.Key donors to WFP’s school meals programme in West and Central Africa for the 2015-2016 school year are Canada, the European Union, Japan, Luxembourg, Saudi Arabia and the United States.