In the 22nd instalment of the series, 'Hum Adani Ke Hai Kaun' (HAHK), the Congress party asked three questions to prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi about allowing the Adani group to create a monopoly in essential infrastructure services like airports and electricity.
In a release, Jairam Ramesh, member of Parliament (MP) and general secretary for communications of Congress, says, "Today we focus on how the monopolies you have granted the Adani Group have allowed it to fleece consumers who need to use essential infrastructure services like airports and electricity.”
Here are the three questions asked by Congress to PM…
(1) The Adani-operated Chaudhary Charan Singh International Airport in Lucknow, India’s 11th busiest airport, has proposed an exorbitant increase in the user development fee (UDF) paid by passengers. If approved by the Airports Economic Regulatory Authority (AERA), user fees will rise from Rs192 to Rs1,025 for domestic passengers and Rs 561 to Rs 2,756 for international passengers by fiscal year 2025-26. AERA has already approved a six-fold fee increase for domestic passengers and a 12-fold fee increase for international passengers flying out of the Adani-operated Ahmedabad airport by 2025-26. And AERA outdid itself in the case of the Adani-operated Mangaluru airport by not only hiking user fees for departing passengers but also imposing them on arriving passengers. Is this not the inevitable outcome of your decision to grant an airports monopoly to your friend Gautam Adani by handing him six out of six airports over the objections of the NITI Aayog and the ministry of finance? Will customers have to pay out of their pockets for the electoral bonds that your cronies are transferring to BJP coffers?
(2) In 2008, Adani Power signed a power purchase agreement (PPA) with Haryana’s State-owned power distribution companies to supply 1,424 megawatts (MW) of electricity for 25 years at a levelised tariff of Rs2.94/unit. After Indonesian coal prices rose, Adani fought a legal battle to increase the levelised tariff which ended when the Supreme Court stated on 11 April 2017 that a change in Indonesian coal regulations does not qualify as a change in the law that triggers a PPA revision. Nevertheless, Adani began to default on its power supply obligations from December 2020, forcing Haryana to buy spot electricity at Rs11.55 per unit. Far from recovering what it was due, the Manohar Lal Khattar government decided to approve a supplementary PPA on 27 June 2022 through which it will procure a reduced 1,200MW from Adani at Rs3.54 per unit and will source the remaining 224MW at a far higher price from Adani. Did you pressurise CM Khattar to bail out your cronies yet again? How many thousands of crores of rupees will be fleeced from Haryana consumers by Adani to pay for the BJP’s electoral bonds?
(3) On 1 March 2023, Adani Power made a disclosure to the Bombay Stock Exchange and to the National Stock Exchange that it had signed supplementary PPAs with Haryana’s two power distribution companies. However, no such PPA had been signed at that time. Was this a crude attempt to shore up flagging Adani share prices? Will this be yet another case of SEBI turning a blind eye to blatant violations and deceptions by your favourite business group?
Read about previous questions here…