Jairam Ramesh raises questions over extending 'help' to Adani
Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Friday said that the Central government has shown "eagerness" to help business tycoon Gautam Adani across several sectors in a "consistent pattern".
New Delhi, Feb 10 (IANS) Senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh on Friday said that the Central government has shown "eagerness" to help business tycoon Gautam Adani across several sectors in a "consistent pattern".
"The entire country has observed a close connection between the Adani Group's commercial interests and your eagerness to help him using government policy. This pattern is consistent across sectors ranging from agriculture to energy to transportation," the Congress General Secretary said in a statement addressed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
In his next set of three questions to the Prime Minister under "Hum Adani Ke Hain Kaun", Ramesh said: "Will you restore the UPA-era rule that limited how many airports a single operator would be given to ensure competition, or will you continue to expand Adani's airports monopoly?
"You successfully handed over six out of six airports to the Adani Group in 2019 by removing the condition that no single operator would be given more than two airports. In your 'Mitr Kaal' budget speech on February 1, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman announced that 50 more airports, heliports and water aerodromes would be revived in the next stage.
"How many of these will Adani end up winning? Will you restore the UPA-era rule that limited how many airports a single operator would be given to ensure competition, or will you continue to expand Adani's airports monopoly?" he added in the same question.
In other question on Renewable energy, Ramesh said: "On June 14, 2022, the Adani Group announced that it would invest $50 billion in green hydrogen in a strategic alliance with France's TotalEnergies. Lo and behold, on January 4, 2023, the Union Cabinet approved the National Green Hydrogen Mission with an outlay of Rs 19,744 crore to subsidise Adani."
"TotalEnergies has since suspended its participation in this venture, but is there any Adani business announcement that is not followed up with a major taxpayer-funded subsidy? he asked.
He further said the three farm laws enacted in September 2020 met widespread opposition from the farmers of India, which forced the government to repeal the 'black laws' in November 2021, alleging that one of the biggest beneficiaries of the laws would have been Adani Agri Logistics.
"But even in the absence of the farm laws, Adani has become the major beneficiary of the Food Corporation of India's silo contracts, the most recent award being the one to set up 3.5 lakh metric tonnes of storage in Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. Meanwhile Adani Farm-Pik has built a near-monopoly on apple procurement in Himachal Pradesh. Is there any sector of Indian agriculture that you have not tried to hand over to the Adani Group?" the Congress leader questioned.