Skip to main content

Rs 29,000 crore scam? Forty top Indian companies being "investigated" for over-invoicing imported coal

By Our Representative
 A top Indian online site analysing global metals and energy indices has created a major flutter by revealing that 40 well-known Indian energy companies are being investigated by a Union Finance Ministry wing for "over-invoicing of imported coal", leading to "artificially higher prices being "passed on to electricity consumers across the country."
The site claims, "The scam is conservatively estimated by government officials at no less than Rs 29,000 crore, a third of which is in the form of higher power tariffs." Among the "big names from the corporate sector" it names the Adani Group and the Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG), both known to be close to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The site reports, "On the last day of March, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI), which comes under the Union Ministry of Finance, issued a 'general alert' to 50-odd customs establishments all over India highlighting the modus operandi of over-invoicing of imports of coal from Indonesia."
The site says, the Adani Group's companies being investigated Adani Enterprises Ltd, Adani Power Ltd, Adani Power Rajasthan Ltd, Adani Power Maharashtra Ltd, Adani Wilmar Ltd and Vyom Trade Link.
"The group has supplied coal to various power generation and distribution companies, including Tamil Nadu Electricity Board, Gujarat State Electricity Corporation, Haryana Power Generation Corporation and Jhajjar Power Ltd", it adds.
Other names the sites reveals include two companies of the Essar Group; JSW Steel Ltd headed by Sajjan Jindal; four companies in the Hyderabad-based NSL group promoted by M Venkataramaiah and M Prabhakar Rao; India Cements Ltd led by former International Cricket Council chairman N Srinivasan; and Uttam Galwa Steels Ltd led by Rajinder Miglani.
"The list", says the site, "also includes Gupta Coal India Ltd; MBG Commodities Pvt Ltd; Knowledge Infrastructure Systems Pvt Ltd; three companies in the Bhatia group; two companies in the Gandhar group; Coastal Energy Ltd; Aggarwal Coal Ltd; Suryadev Alloys and Power Pvt Ltd; Laxmi Organic Industries Ltd; Phoenix Comtrade Pvt Ltd; and Simhapuri Energy Ltd."
The site further says that it is not just the private ssector companies but also government-owned companies which are being investigated. These include "the country’s largest power producer NTPC Ltd (formerly National Thermal Power Corporation Limited), MMTC Ltd (formerly Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation Limited), MSTC Ltd (formerly Metal Scrap Trading Corporation Limited) and Karnataka Power Corporation Limited."
"Due to over-invoicing, an ordinary consumer of electricity may be ending up paying around Rs 1.50 per unit or kilowatt hour (kwh) extra", the site estimates, adding, "So if a household consumes, say, 1,000 units and pays, say, Rs 3 per unit, the household would be paying an extra Rs 1,500 per month on the electricity bill or twice the amount that should have been actually charged had imported coal not been over-invoiced."
"The uncertainty in domestic coal production and the periodic bans on coal mining due to judicial pronouncements have compelled power generators to rely more on imported coal", it points out.
Revealing that the calorific value of Indonesian coal is between 3,800 and 4,200, the site says, "The freight on board (FOB) prices of these qualities of coal in Indonesia in 2014 varied between $30 and $37 per tonne. The freight charges during this period for deliveries on the west and east coast of India ranged between $10 and $12 per tonne."
"Thus", it says, "The CIF prices should have been in the range $ 40–50 per tonne against the actual average import prices of over $ 82 per tonne, the DRI has claimed."
“Interestingly", the site recalls, "In 2014, two major power producers, Tata Power and Adani group companies, which supply power to more than one state electricity board and which have independent power purchase agreements with distribution companies, were allowed to recover compensatory tariffs from five state distribution companies."
---
Click HERE to read full report

Comments

TRENDING

What's behind public sector banks showing huge profits in 2nd quarter of 2022-23?

By Thomas Franco*  The quarter two results of the public sector banks (PSBs) appear to be noteworthy compared to a few years ago. All these banks showed good profits in the financial year 2021-22. Twelve PSBs made a net profit of Rs 25,685 crore in quarter 2 of FY23 and a total of Rs 40,991 crore in the first half of 2023. The combined profit of 12 banks in March 2022 was Rs 66,539 crore which was 110% more than 2021 – Rs. 31,816 crore. The Asset Quality Review of 2015 saw a surge in NPAs of PSBs jumping to Rs 8.96 lakh crore in March 2018 from Rs 2.17 lakh crore in March 2014. This was simply because the norms for NPAs were changed from 180 days to 90 days, and all restructuring of even genuine accounts was done away with. In 2018 NPA of SBI was 5.73% which has come down to 0.8% in Q2 of FY23. The NPA of Canara Bank has come down to 2.19% from 7.48% in Mar 2018. The same trend is seen in all public banks. Now SBI has seen a jump of 74% in its net profit, while Canara Bank’s profit is

Economist-editor's allegations on Narmada defamatory, baseless: Medha Patkar

Counterview Desk  In a reply directly addressed to well-known economist, journalist and columnist Swaminathan S Anklesaria Aiyar’s two articles in the Times of India (republished here and here ), calling them defamatory and wondering whether they were borne out of “ignorance or a conspiracy through political alliance”, Narmada Bachao Andolan leader Medha Pakar has said that the Narmada Sardar Saravar Project and the people's movement by adivasis, farmers, labourers, fish workers, potters and all the generations’ old communities from the river valley have suddenly come to be focused on, since the Gujarat elections are in the doorstep. She believes that while the “defamatory accusations with baseless conceptions such as ‘urban naxals’ are to be laughed at as the electoral strategic moves, one gets shocked to read the articles by a known old columnist like Swaminathan Ankalesaria Aiyar, published in a reputed daily like the Times of India." According to her, Aiyar’s two articl

Business back to normal? IIM-A survey says, sales expectations have sharply improved

By Our Representative  The Indian Institute of Management’s Business Inflation Expectations Survey (BIES), which polls a panel of business leaders to find out their perception of slack in economy, including their inflation expectations, year-ahead cost expectations and the factors influencing price changes, such as profit and sales levels, etc., has said that the cost perceptions data indicates signs of moderation in price pressures. Carried out for September, the survey says, the cost pressure of the reporting firms has shifted from “very significant increase (over 6%) to moderate increase (3.1% to 6%).” It adds, “The percentage of firms perceiving over 10% cost increase y-o-y has declined. Over 21% of the firms in September 2022 round of the survey perceive that costs have increased very significantly (over 10%) – down from 26% recorded in August 2022.” Claiming to be a unique survey, in that it goes straight to businesses -- the price setters -- rather than to consumers or household

GoI's productivity linked incentives to corporates 'without independent analysis'

Counterview Desk  Wondering how prudent is the Government of India's (GoI's) Productivity Linked Incentive (PLI) scheme, EAS Sarma, former secretary, GoI, in a representation to Nirmala Sitharaman, Union finance minister, has said it appears to be nothing more than subsidy to the private sector without any responsibility. Giving a specific example against the backdrop of announcement of 50% subsidy covering the project cost of the Vedanta Group's decision to set up a semiconductor fabrication plant in Gujarat, in collaboration with Foxconn, Sarma says, "The total cost of this project is reported to be Rs 1,54,000 crore. 50% of this works out to Rs 77,000 crore." Stating that this creates the impression that the entire subsidy allocation for the semiconductor manufacturing sector would be appropriated by this company, Sarma says, "The Gujarat government did not lag behind in liberally announcing similar incentives for the Vedanta-Foxconn project. It offered 7

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Hindutva groups threat to peace, freedom: US diaspora groups tell FBI, other govt depts

By Our Representative  The Islamophobic and neo-Nazi ideology of Hindutva is a clear and present danger to peace and freedoms in the United States, a coalition of civil rights organizations told key officials of the U.S. Attorney General’s Office, the US Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) at a recent event in Edison, New Jersey. At the event titled United Against Hate, activists from American Muslims for Democracy (AMD), Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR) and Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC) made detailed presentations on this ideology of Hindu supremacism that is committing mass persecution of India’s Muslims and Christians and is rearing its ugly head in New Jersey as well as across the US. Attending the event were David S Leonardis, Special Investigator from the New Jersey Department of Law & Public Safety; Michael E Campion, Chief of the Civil Rights Division for the US Attorney General's Office; and Jonathan R Norbut of the U.S. Dep

BJP poll gimmick? Bilkis Bano rape case 'pardon' vs Rajiv assassins' release

By Sandeep Pandey*  Supreme Court has released six convicts in the Rajiv Gandhi assassination case. This was bound to happen as earlier AG Perarivalan was released in the same case, setting a precedent. Even though four of them are Sri Lankans but a popular Tamil sentiment favoured the release of these convicts which is why Tamil political parties supported this and resolutions were passed by different governments in Tamil Nadu to his effect.  Rajiv Gandhi paid the price of sending Indian Peace Keeping Force to Sri Lanka where it got entangled with Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam and eventually the whole operation ended up is a fiasco.  However, most importantly Sonia and Priyanka Gandhi and probably Rahul too do not have any objections to the release of these convicts. In fact, Sonia Gandhi played an important role in getting the death sentence of the only lady among the convicts Nalini commuted to life term through the Tamil Nadu Governor. Priyanka visited Nalini in Vellore Jail and

Diminishing returns: Hydro projects contribute less than 10% of India's power generation

Counterview Desk  Pointing out that India’s hydro generation remains around 10% for the last six years, the advocacy group South Asia Network on Dams, Rivers and People (SANDRP) has said that power generation from hydropower projects continues to show diminishing returns, as has been the story close to three decades now. Yet, says SANDRP in a note, the Government of India continues to push large hydro by announcing a slew of additional subsidies for hydropower projects, more for political economy reason. In fact, attempts are being made to flog unviable hydropower projects with various kind of manipulations, illegalities and violations, it adds. Text : In last six years, from 2016-17 to 2021-22, India’s large hydropower projects (projects above 25 MW installed capacity) have contributed just around 10% of the total power generation, going as low as 9.68% in 2017-18. In fact, in three of these six years, large hydro contributed less than 10% and recovering only marginally in the rest,

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.