Documents that revealed Modi govt helped Adani's coal business
The Modi-led central government bestowed an extraordinary favour on the Adani Group headed by Gautam Adani, boosting its coal business, documents revealed.
Adani’s coal business new rise
An investigation by The Reporters’ Collective, published by Al Jazeera, cites documents revealing that PM Narendra Modi’s government allowed Adani Enterprises Limited to mine from a block containing more than 450 million tons of coal in one of India’s densest patches of forest, but disallowed other companies by changing the law.
In 2014 the Supreme Court cancelled all coal blocks and mining contracts that had been delivered, forcing the companies to forfeit them. However, the Modi government’s decisions allowed the Adani Group to continue mining coal, unfettered government’s own policy decisions and Supreme Court ruling that put many at a disadvantage to other private players, shows the documents accessed by The Reporters’ Collective.
Many of the blocks had been illegally allocated to companies owned by state governments, the court found. These companies, in turn, had been handing over the lucrative mining business to private companies at prices that were kept secret in contracts. The Adani Group was awarded one such contract in July 2008.
The Adani Group’s company has mined more than 80 million tons of coal from the block.
In the mining industry, these contracts are called mine developer and operator (MDO) contracts. Over time, the group has become the largest coal MDO in India; it currently has nine MDO contracts for blocks containing more than 2.8 billion tons of coal.
The Adani group has won the most coal mining contracts from state-owned players. By 2014, the Adani Group had won five such contracts.
Two contracts were signed directly by BJP-ruled state-owned companies. One was signed by a state government governed by Congress. Two others were joint ventures between different state-owned companies. In these last two cases, one of the joint venture partners was a company owned by a BJP-ruled state government.
Parliament passes law to open coal sector
In 2017-18, Adani Enterprise earned revenue of Rs 860 crore from such contracts, according to a presentation made by the company to investors.
In 2020, the central government proposed amendments to the country’s mining laws that would make it easier for private companies to extract and sell coal. The Adani Group was one of the companies that would benefit from these changes, and the government was accused of favouring private companies over state entities.
Modi govt favours Adani coal business
There have been allegations that the Modi government has given favourable treatment to the Adani Group in its coal business.
Land acquisition: The Adani Group has acquired large tracts of land for its coal mining and power projects in India, and the government has been accused of facilitating these acquisitions by using legal provisions to acquire land from farmers and local communities.
Environmental clearances: The Adani Group has faced opposition from environmental groups and local communities over its coal mining and power projects, and the government has been accused of rushing environmental clearances and ignoring concerns about the impact of these projects on the environment and public health.
The Adani Group was granted environmental clearances for a 1,600 MW coal-fired power plant in Godda, Jharkhand, despite concerns raised by local communities and environmental groups. The clearances were given by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, which is headed by a minister from the Modi government.
Tax breaks and other incentives: The Adani Group has reportedly received tax breaks and other incentives from the government, including import duty waivers on equipment and machinery for its coal mining and power projects.
Government Lobbying: The Modi government has been accused of lobbying on behalf of the Adani Group, both in India and abroad, to secure favourable treatment for its coal mining and power projects.
- Gautam Adani’s expanding coal empire
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- Why tribals protesting against Adani’s Dhirauli coal project in MP?
- Adani Group’s 100 million tree plantation being accused of greenwashing
- Bangladesh will pay 4 times to Adani for coal power, Cuts food Subsidies
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