New Delhi– More than three lakh “shell companies” set up to facilitate generation of black money have been unearthed by the government, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday.

“The drive against black money has led to the discovery of many shell companies. Following demonetisation, over three lakh companies have been found which are nothing but shell companies,” Modi said in his speech here on the occasion of Independence Day.

“Of these, the registrations of 175,000 companies have been cancelled,” he said.

Highlighting the enormity of the black money menace, Modi said up to 400 bogus firms were found to be operating from a single address.

Last week, stock markets regulator Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) imposed trade restrictions on 331 firms suspected of being shell companies.

These securities were placed in suspended animation, implying that trade in these stocks will be permitted only once a month.