Centre distances itself from troubled deal between Adani Power, Bangladesh
The Bangladesh Power Development Board has sought the revision of a deal to buy electricity from a power plant of Adani Power in Jharkhand, a report said.
The Indian government on Thursday distanced itself from a report that Bangladesh has sought the revision of a 2017 agreement with Adani Power to purchase electricity.
The state-run Bangladesh Power Development Board has sought the revision of a deal to buy electricity from a thermal power plant of Adani Power in the Godda district of Jharkhand, Bangladesh’s UNB news agency reported. Officials from the Bangladesh government agency have reportedly sought lower prices of coal for the agreement.
In response to a question seeking a comment on the matter, Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Arindam Bagchi said: “I understand you’re referring to a deal between the sovereign government and an Indian company. I am not aware of the deal; I don’t even think we are involved in this.”
Responding to another question about the agreement, Bagchi said that greater economic integration and connectivity with India’s neighbours assists its process of development.
“We have been talking about our neighbours benefiting from the economic growth of India, we have tried to make it easier for connectivity, be it physical, or energy, or power transmission or any of those or even waterways,” the spokesperson said.
Bagchi said that the Indian government, under its “Neighbourhood First” policy, would like to see more economic integration of projects and investments. “But if a certain project is not working for financial or economic reasons, I don’t think that’s a reflection on the relationship,” he added.
In response to a question on whether any foreign governments approached India about the status of the Adani Group, the external affairs ministry spokesperson said that he was not aware of any such development.
“I don’t know if they will approach MEA, I’m not aware of any such outreach at all,” Bagchi said. “I don’t think it is a foreign policy issue. If there is any query that they might have vis-a-vis a private organisation, maybe they’ll route it through other concerned departments, but I’m not sure.”
Bagchi made the comments in the backdrop of a crisis in the Adani Group that began with a report by United States-based short-seller Hindenburg Research on January 24. Shares of the conglomerate’s companies have plunged since the firm made wide-ranging allegations that the Adani Group was pulling off the “largest con in corporate history”.
It claimed that the conglomerate has over the decades been involved in stock manipulation, accounting fraud, used offshore shells for money laundering and siphoned money from listed companies.
The Adani Group called the report a “calculated attack” on India and its institutions. Hindenburg, in turn, said that Adani Group cannot conceal its fraud by draping itself in the national flag.