Skip to main content

Adani's Aussie coalmining project: Greenpeace, 350.org, finance body seek probe into ownership allegation

By Our Representative
At least two prestigious and high-profile international environmental bodies -- Greenpeace and 350.org -- and a research institute,Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), have sought complete clarity and investigation into fresh allegations by Fairfax, Australia's leading media company, about doubtful ownership of the Adani Group's $10 billion Australian coal-mining project. A report in Australian daily "The Age" says Fairfax has raised serious objection to the "use of offshore, low-tax jurisdictions in relation to its Australian operations, and the apparent uncertainty about ownership."
The paper quotes Fairfax to say that "Gautam Adani does not ultimately control many of the companies associated with his company's Australian coal developments", and instead "his eldest brother Vinod Shantilal Adani holds pivotal positions." In fact, "Fairfax Media particularly questions Vinod Adani's antecedents, as he has been named in an Indian criminal investigation into the alleged siphoning of $1 billion from Indian shareholders in three Adani companies into offshore accounts."
According the "The Age" the allegations have been "confirmed to Fairfax by an investigator in India's Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, stem from an import scheme in which three Adani companies are alleged to have imported power equipment at an inflated price, with the excess sum siphoned into a Mauritius entity controlled by Vinod Shantilal Shah – an alias for Vinod Shantilal Adani."

Greenpeace Objection

Citing "explosive" Fairfax Media report, Greenpeace Australia Pacific has demanded "an investigation into coal giant Adani’s suitability to operate in Queensland, Australia", It has said, "The scandal revealed inconsistencies between Indian and Australian financial reports. Adani’s Abbot Point T1 coal terminal and their rail and port expansion projects could in fact be controlled by a complex network of companies run through the Cayman Islands. The investigation into the Adani companies by Fairfax Media, one of Australia’s largest media companies, suggests uncertainty about the ultimate ownership of the Abbot Point development."
Pointing out that this shows the Queensland government "may not have known if these projects were owned by a publicly listed Indian company or a shadowy group of companies run through a tax haven,” Greenpeace Australia’s Reef Campaigner Shani Tager said, “It’s critical that these explosive revelations are investigated before any of Adani’s coal developments can proceed further.” Tager adds, "In Adani’s home country of India, the company has been fined for a raft of illegal activities, including paying cash bribes to port officials, customs, police and local politicians to receive 'undue favour for illegal exports'."
Greenpace also quotes Environmental Justice Australia's recent report questioning Adani’s "suitability to operate in Queensland given their track record", saying, “We already know Adani doesn't play by the rules. This is a coal billionaire who will do whatever it takes to make a quick buck.The only sensible response to these revelations is a comprehensive investigation into the Adani Group’s suitability to operate in Queensland given the potential impact of their plans for a mega coal mine, rail line and port in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef.”

350.org calls for moratorium

Speaking out in the same vein, 350.org has called for "moratorium on Abbot Point coal port expansion in light of what it calls “Adani-gate” findings." According to 350.org, "The port expansion, which would be the world’s largest, would open up a series of nine mega coalmines in Queensland’s Galilee Basin, tripling Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions."
It adds, "Construction is slated to begin as soon as the project receives Federal approval... However 350.org believes the approval process must be halted following ground-breaking new information uncovered by Fairfax, which reveals that most of the companies associated with Adani’s Australian coal operations are not controlled by the public face of the company, Gautam Adani, but by his eldest brother Vinod."
Says 350.org, "Company documents reveal that Adani sold its stake in Abbot Point in 2013 to a Singaporean company, however this was not made known to Australian authorities or the Bombay stock exchange. Adani was also found to still control a number of Australian companies linked to its Carmichael coal project in the Galilee Basin, despite excluding these companies from its 2013-14 accounts. These disturbing new allegations about Indian company Adani call into question the legitimacy of the approvals process for Abbot Point and the Galilee Basin coal mines.”

Investigate ownership: IEEFA 

Chipping into the controversy, Tim Buckley, director of energy finance studies, Australasia, of the US-based Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA), also said, "it is critical that a detailed inquiry and investigation by state and federal agencies commences immediately to ensure that financial markets are being provided accurate information about Adani’s proposed coal mine, rail and port projects in Queensland.” 
He insisted, “The assertions reported go to the very heart of our continued analysis of Adani’s operations here and overseas. They create even stronger doubts about the key questions of their financial viability, corporate transparency and strategic logic in the face of the structural decline of seaborne thermal coal markets.”
Buckley also said, "As IEEFA has previously documented, the Galilee coal project proposals are highly unlikely to proceed without the support of the four Australian bank majors, plus some of the nine leading global investment banks. While export-import banks like the Korean Export-Import Bank could be material players, given that their focus is more risk-tolerant towards greenfield projects, even they will be involved only if there is a clear strategic national benefit." 
He added, “These reports today should be a loud warning for any investors and financiers until an investigation has been carefully undertaken and completed. A very serious set of questions needs to be answered.”

Comments

TRENDING

Missed call drive for VVPAT verification follows online plea to "pressure" poll panel

By Our Representative
Several political activists have begun a new campaign, asking concerned citizens to give a missed call on 9667655855 to “support the demand that 2019 Loksabha elections must be declared only after verification of 50% electronic voting machines (EVMs) with Voter Verifiable Paper Audit Trail (VVPAT) receipts.” The effort, supported by civil society networks across India, is meant to "further pressure" India's election machinery to ensure that the poll outcome becomes more transparent.

Did Modi own, buy digital camera costing Rs 7 lakh in 1987-88, also used email?

Counterview Desk
In an interview to the news channel News Nation, aired on Saturday last, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declaring that he had approved the air strike despite bad weather because he felt the clouds would hide Indian planes from Pakistani radar is known to have become a laughing stock across India.

Now, top Gujarat "litterateur" close to Modi says: Godse was patriot, so was Gandhi

By Rajiv Shah
A little over a week after Prime Minister Narendra Modi criticized BJP candidate from Bhopal Pragya Thakur for calling Nathuram Godse a patriot saying he would never forgive her for the remark, a top Sangh Parivar ideologue, known to close to Modi in Gujarat, has supported her, saying her statement should be seen “within a context.” Thakur won from Bhopal by more than 3.5 lakh votes defeating her nearest rival, veteran Congressman and ex-Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh.

When a neo-nationalist "invaded" hijab clad ladies, Bengali looking scholar in Delhi metro

By Aditi Kundu*
Travelling in Delhi metro on a daily basis to commute from Mayur Vihar to Dwarka, I see diverse people everyday. One can hear them talk about different aspects of life, from kitchen pilitics to national politics. On the morning of May 13, I witnessed a strange incident; disturbing and amusing at the same time.

Terror attacks: Difference in public reactions in India, those in Colombo, Christchurch

By Battini Rao*
Recently, on April 20 during Easter Sunday, more than 250 people were killed in a series of coordinated terrorist attacks in churches and hotels in Colombo, Sri Lanka. Local Islamic organisations Thawheed Jamath (NJT) and Jamathei Milathu Ibrahim (JMI) are held responsible for the attack. Islamic State has also claimed responsibility.

Women lost 88 lakh jobs in 2018: Why Modi "failed" to address their disempowerment?

Counterview Desk
Five human rights leaders Anjali Bhardwaj, Shabnam Hashmi, Purnima Gupta, Dipta Bhog, and Amrita Johri of the Women March for Change have posed 56 questions (alluding to Modi’s claim of 56 inches chest) to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP against the backdrop of his interview with a Bollywood star, which was allegedly masqueraded as a “non-political” conversation.

Disproportionately high death sentences against Dalits, Adivasis, Muslims: UN told

Counterview Desk
In their joint submission to the United Nations Human Rights Committee to meet for the listing of adoption of list of issues at its 126th session, July 1-26, 2019, top Dalit rights organizations have taken strong exception to, among other things, "disproportional application of death sentencing by the judiciary of minorities, such as Muslims, Dalits and Adivasis".

World Bank clarifies: Its 26th rank to India not for universal access to power but for ease of doing business

By Our Representative
In a major embarrassment to the Government of India, the World Bank has reportedly clarified that it has not ranked India 26th out of 130 countries for providing power to its population. The top international banker’s clarification comes following Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal’s claim that India has “improved to 26 position from 99” in access to electricity in just one year.

India's 80% construction sites "unsafe", deaths 20 times higher than those in Britain

By Rajiv Shah
The Government of India may be seeking to project India’s construction sector as the country’s second-largest employer of the country after agriculture, providing jobs to more than 44 million people, and contributing nearly 9% to the national GDP, yet, ironically, its workforce is more unprotected than any other industrial sector of the country. Data suggest that the possibility of a fatality is five times more likely in the construction industry  than in a manufacturing industry, and the risk of a major injury is 2.5 times higher.

India sans Modi preferable, Congress worthier recipient of Indians’ votes: The Economist

By Our Representative
In a strongly-worded and crucial commentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi as the electoral political battle is on, influential British weekly “The Economist”, has declared that “Indians, who are in the midst of voting in a fresh election, would be better off with a different leader”, even as pointing out that that under Modi, “India’s ruling party poses a threat to democracy.”