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Gujarat Congress Alleges Excess Payment of ₹3,900 Crore to Adani Power, Demands Investigation

Gujarat Congress President Shaktisinh Gohil accuses the state government of favoring Adani Group through alleged 'crony corruption.' Gohil presents evidence of a substantial excess payment to Adani Power and questions transparency in coal procurement. Gujarat government denies scam and ongoing payments.

Gujarat Congress President, Shaktisinh Gohil, has put forth serious allegations against the Gujarat government, accusing it of favoring the Adani Group through an “excess payment” of ₹3,900 crore to Adani Power between 2018 and 2023. Gohil produced a letter from the Gujarat Urja Vikas Nigam Ltd (GUVNL) to Adani Power, indicating an overpayment and requesting recovery. The letter, dated May 15, 2023, highlights Adani Power’s failure to submit detailed invoices and supporting documents for coal procurement, suggesting a discrepancy in coal prices. The state government denies any wrongdoing and asserts ongoing payments.

Accusations of Crony Corruption and Non-Transparency

Shaktisinh Gohil labeled the situation as a clear case of “cronyism” and demanded transparency in the dealings between the state government and the Adani Group. He questioned the absence of inquiries by enforcement agencies, considering the lack of supporting documents for fuel procurement. Gohil emphasized that this alleged excess payment could not have occurred without political approval and accused the state of attempting to manipulate energy costs by creating layers within layers.

Government Denies Scam, Cites Ongoing Payments

In response to the accusations, a Gujarat government spokesman, Rushikesh Patel, refuted claims of a scam and clarified that payments were ongoing, following established norms. Patel confirmed the authenticity of the GUVNL’s letter but characterized it as a routine commercial communication. However, the letter’s circulation has cast a shadow on the energy department’s transparency, raising questions about its operations.

Congress Calls for Investigation into SEBI’s Delay

The Congress party also raised concerns about the Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) handling of allegations related to the Adani Group. Congress Communication Chief Jairam Ramesh criticized SEBI’s delay in reaching conclusive findings regarding round-tripping and money laundering allegations against the group. Ramesh advocated for a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) probe to address the matter comprehensively.

Opaque Ownership and Regulatory Dilution

Jairam Ramesh highlighted SEBI’s decision to dilute reporting requirements concerning the beneficial ownership of foreign funds in 2018 and 2019. He attributed the lack of identification of beneficial ownership to this regulatory dilution and expressed concern over the inflow of overseas funds without transparent ownership. Ramesh asserted that the recent reintroduction of strict reporting rules signaled acknowledgment of the regulatory body’s mistake.

Call for Transparency and Investigation

The allegations made by Gujarat Congress have sparked a debate over the dealings between the government and private entities like the Adani Group. As accusations of excess payments and lack of transparency continue to circulate, the demand for a comprehensive investigation grows louder, raising important questions about the accountability of both government and corporate sectors.

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