News Brief

Rahul Gandhi's Allegations Against Adani Bite Back, FT Alleges Coal Imports Over-Invoiced During UPA Era

Nishtha Anushree

May 22, 2024, 12:46 PM | Updated 12:46 PM IST

Gautam Adani
Gautam Adani

A few months after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi attacked the Adani Group for over-invoicing coal prices, the Financial Times published a similar report today (22 May) citing January 2014 invoices.

However, this is not good news for Rahul Gandhi as the Congress-led UPA government was in power at that time, contrary to Gandhi's allegations of Adani being protected by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The report alleges that the Adani Group purchased low-quality coal (containing 3,500 calories per kg) from Indonesia and sold it as 6,000-calorie coal, earning huge profits.

Citing January 2014 invoices, the FT claims that 22 shipments totaling 1.5 million tonnes of coal were supplied in 2014 indicating a pattern of grade inflation, through which Adani doubled its money.

Gandhi had made similar allegations claiming Rs 32,000 crore fraud by the Adani Group and said, "Gautam Adani buys coal in Indonesia and by the time it reaches India, its price doubles."

The report accuses Adani to "have fraudulently obtained bumper profits at the expense of air quality since using low-grade coal for power means burning more of the fuel."

It alleges that Adani's contract with Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution company (Tangedco) specified expensive high-quality fuel, but it sold low-calorie output coal to it.

As per Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) documents cited by the FT, a ship left Indonesia in December 2013 at a price of $28 per tonne and reached India in January 2014 at $92 per tonne.

Nishtha Anushree is Senior Sub-editor at Swarajya. She tweets at @nishthaanushree.

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