Malicious campaign to tarnish image

Adani Group described all the allegations as “false and baseless”.

New Delhi:

Adani Group today criticized UK-based newspaper Financial Times for “raising old, baseless allegations of over-invoicing of coal imports”. The group accused him of a “malicious campaign to undercut his market value and tarnish his reputation”.

It added that “after failing earlier”, the Financial Times is “making another attempt to destabilize the Adani Group financially.

“Continuing his relentless campaign, the next attack is being carried out by Dan McCrum of the Financial Times, who in collaboration with OCCRP launched a false story against Adani Group on 31 August 2023. OCCRP is funded by George Soros , who “openly declared his hostility against the Adani Group,” the statement said.

The group also said that “it is no coincidence that such stories have the amazing potential to emerge just before the hearing dates of important cases in India’s courts.”

The Adani Group condemned such “deliberate and motivated efforts” to destabilize it, terming all such allegations as “false and baseless”. “We are a law-abiding company that fully complies with all rules, regulations and disclosure requirements while fully respecting the rule of law,” the group said in a statement.

It said that this is part of their extended campaign to advance vested interests in the guise of public interest.

It added that the story proposed by the publication is based on DRI’s General Alert Circular dated March 30, 2016.

However, the publication “has singled out the Adani Group, while the DRI circular mentions 40 importers, including Adani Group companies,” the statement said.

However, the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) had quashed the case. DRI appealed but the Supreme Court rejected its petition this year.

In the statement, Adani Group said the DRI’s show cause notice alleging overvaluation in coal imports was dismissed by the Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT).

“The FT’s proposed story is a clever recycling and selective misrepresentation of publicly available facts and information along with deliberate and mischievous suppression of judicial decisions to reach a predetermined conclusion. This is a disgrace to India’s regulatory and judicial processes and authorities. Shows very little respect. It also deliberately ignores the fact that coal is procured in India on a long-term supply basis through an open, transparent, global bidding process which prevents any kind of price manipulation. The possibility is lost.”

It said tariff determination by the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) is an open, transparent, independent process, where tariffs are decided after carefully evaluating all variables and in consultation with power generators, distributors and retail consumers. Multiple opportunities to look at all aspects determining tariff including import price of coal.

“Therefore, the question of over-invoicing or price rigging does not arise,” it said.

(Disclaimer: New Delhi Television is a subsidiary of AMG Media Networks Limited, an Adani Group company.)

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