The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has asked for details from banks on their exposure to the Adani Group, several reports said on Thursday.
The information being sought by the central bank includes details of collateral being employed to back loans and indirect exposure that banks may have.
Both houses of Parliament were adjourned till 2 p.m. on Thursday amid noisy protests by Congress-led opposition parties over research group Hindenburg’s report on Adani Group.
As soon as Lok Sabha convened for the day, opposition members rushed to the Well raising slogans.
Speaker Om Birla had just welcomed a Parliamentary delegation from Zambia and started the Question Hour, when the ruckus began.
Birla objected to the noisy scenes and asked the members not to make ‘unsubstantiated’ claims. As the slogan shouting continued, he adjourned the proceedings till 2 p.m.
Rajya Sabha too was adjourned over protests by opposition parties on the same issue.
A US-based research firm Hindenburg has accused the Adani group of “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud scheme over the course of decades”.
Opposition parties have been seeking to raise the Adani issue, Chinese transgressions at the border and the role of Governors in states.
Aam Aadmi Party MP Sanjay Singh said that he had written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demanded to confiscate the passport of industrialist Gautam Adani.
“I have written a letter to PM, ED, and CBI demanding the confiscation of Adani’s passport, or else If he also flees from the country like other industrialists and capitalists, then crores of people of this country will be left with nothing,” Singh told ANI.
Further launching his tirade against the Adani Enterprises Ltd chairman Gautam Adani, the AAP leader said that the former’s “mountain of lies and fraud is crumbling like a pack of cards”.
“Adani’s mountain of lies and fraud is crumbling like a pack of cards. Crores of investors in the country are worried. Those who have invested in LIC, and SBI because both of them have given loans worth crores of rupees. The Prime Minister should come forward and address the issue. The Finance Minister should tell what the RBI, ED, and CBI are doing. Why is the government silent on such huge corruption? FPO is just the beginning, the mountain of lies will fall,” he added.
Singh also gave a suspension of business notice to Rajya Sabha Chairman Jagdeep Dhankar demanding a discussion on the allegations of financial irregularities and fraud against the Adani group.
Serving the notice under Rule 267, Singh mentioned that a case of manipulation of shares, financial irregularities and fraud on a large scale by the ‘Adani Group’ has come to the fore. “These allegations are so serious that Life Insurance Corporation of India (LIC) which holds the shares of Adani Group’s stocks worth more than Rs 81 thousand crores had a loss of about Rs 16,580 crores,” he said.
Quoting the Hindenburg Research Report, he said in the notice that crores of rupees of many public sector banks of the country including the State Bank of India (SBI) are at stake as the Adani Group has currently a debt of more than Rs 2.2 lakh crore.
“According to the report, seven listed companies of the Adani Group have been over-evaluated for more than 85 per cent. These companies have taken loans by mortgaging their shares on a large scale. There have been several cases registered against the members of Adani’s family and his group officials,” the notice said.
He further mentioned that many government institutions including LIC, and SBI continued to invest in Adani Group despite the latter’s role in serious offences like money laundering, and theft of taxpayers’ money. Even the grant of a Follow-on Public Offer (FPO) worth Rs 20,000 crore to the Adani enterprises and the nod for the demand of investor’s money without the completion of SEBI’s investigation also hints at wider economic impropriety, he claimed.
“Taking cognizance of such a serious matter, the sooner the investigation is started, the sooner the interests of investors and the general public can be protected, otherwise, it will destroy the lives of crores of Indians who invest their money for savings in companies like LIC and SBI. Considering the above critical circumstances, you are humbly requested to postpone other works of the House under Rule 267 and discuss this very serious matter related to the public interest in the House,” he said in the notice.