07 May 2013, BioSpectrum Bureau , BioSpectrum
New Delhi: It seems like the troubles for India's Union Cabinet Minister for Railways, Mr Pawan Kumar Bansal, may not have subsided yet. Although the case of Mr Bansal's nephew, Vijay Singla (he was caught accepting a bribe of $180,000 (Rs90 lakh) for allegedly getting a senior railway officer, Mr Mahesh Kumar, appointed member of the Indian railway board), has come to a climax with his arrest by the CBI, it appears that the fortunes of companies that were run by close relatives of Mr Bansal witnessed significant growth during his political career.
The rise of the Mr Bansal family's pharma business is a case in point. Theon Pharmaceuticals, a firm owned by Mr Bansal's wife Ms Madhu Bansal and his sons recorded manifold increase in turnover during a very short span of time, according to Business Standard. The firm was set up in 2005 and is engaged in contract research and manufacturing services (CRAMS). Theon is focused on dedicated manufacturing facility for specialized pharmaceutical products.
According to Business Standard, the firm's revenue during 2012 was close to $30 million (Rs 152 crore), which is an astonishing feat considering the fact that other companies engaged in the same business are facing tremendous challenges. The report also points out that Theon got licences, approvals and clearances "very easily" and also managed to get high-profile clients such as Cipla and Ranbaxy. The report highlights that Theon managed this due to "strong and effective liaisoning with regulatory bodies and government departments".
The minister's son Mr Amit Bansal is the managing director of the company, his nephews Mr Punit Bansal, Mr Mukesh Bansal and Mr Anshul Bansal are directors and close relative Mr Bal Krishna Bansal is the chairman, the report said. Let us keep our fingers crossed to see if the fact that Mr Bansal's family-run pharma business witnessed manifold increase in turnover and revenue during his political tenure further pushes him into the political quicksand that he has already ventured into.