Congress Asks 3 Questions on IOC Agreement for LPG Facilities in Adani-owned Gangavaram Port
Moneylife Digital Team 17 February 2023
In the twelfth instalment of questions under the series, 'Hum Adani Ke Hai Kaun' (HAHK), the Congress party has asked three questions to prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi related to an agreement signed by Indian Oil Corp (IOC) for using facilities at Gangavaram Port. 
Jairam Ramesh, member of Parliament and general secretary for communication of Congress, says, "On 11 February 2023 we had questioned your role in facilitating an Adani group monopoly in the ports sector. Today's questions are a follow up and relate to the public sector IOC's controversial agreement to use the liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) facilities in the Adani-owned Gangavaram Port."
(1) It is now widely known that you have used all the means at your disposal to help Adani expand its ports business, whether by giving port concessions in the absence of bidding or by inflicting income tax raids on business groups to "encourage" them to sell their valuable assets to Adani. But why are you intentionally undermining the public sector that your government is meant to be stewarding on behalf of the citizens of India? Your government had previously blocked a 2021 bid by the Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust (JNPT) for the Dighi Port in Maharashtra, which ended up in Adani's hands. Now we learn that IOC, which was earlier importing LPG via the government-run Visakhapatnam Port, is instead being made to use the neighbouring Gangavaram Port, and that too via an unfavourable "take-or-pay" contract. Do you view India's public sector simply as a tool to enrich your cronies?
(2) IOC has clarified that it has only signed a "non-binding memorandum of understanding- MoU" with Adani Ports and that there is no binding take-or-pay agreement "as of now". Did Adani Ports inadvertently reveal the game before it was finalised? Does the signing of an MoU not clearly indicate the direction in which IOC is being pushed? Does the fact that a take-or-pay contract was at all on the table not betray the fact that Adani was going to be made the primary port for the import of LPG rather than one of many, as IOC has stated?
(3) The state-run Life Insurance Corporation of India is a major shareholder in IOC with an 8.3% stake worth Rs9,400 crore, and also a major shareholder in Adani Ports and SEZ with a stake of 9.1% worth Rs1,130 crore. Where is the due diligence by government shareholders? Who is looking out for the interests of the shareholders of IOC? Or is this loot being carried out under your benevolent gaze and restraining hand?
Read about the previous questions here… 
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