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TMC corners govt on loan to Adanis

The statement came from Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu making an intervention into the discussion on black money in Lok Sabha.

The united opposition has been targeting the government for selective leaks about those having accounts abroad. Naidu, while referring to BJP’s manifesto released before the Lok Sabha polls, pointed out that the party had promised to set up a task force to deal with the problem and not on bringing it back within 100 days. “We are not so immature to claim bringing the money back in 100 days,” he added.

However, Trinamool Congress (TMC), refused to buy the arguments made by Naidu, and intensified their protest and raised the issue of loan promised by government-controlled State Bank of India to Adani Group for investing in Australia. The leaders of Left, Congress, Samajwadi Party and Biju Janata Dal joined hands with Trinamool and targeted the government over black money as well as over the controversial issue of loan to Adani.

Trinamool leaders also questioned PM Modi’s intention in facilitating loan from SBI to Adani Group, which is under the scanner of Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) for over-valuation of capital equipment imports to the tune Rs 5,500-crore. “When you are going to do an MoU, and going to get a bank loan of Rs. 5,000-6,000 crore, you have a breakfast meeting with the SBI Chairman, the Prime Minister and a third person. It gives a bad impression,” Trinamool leader Derek O’Brien said outside Parliament without naming Adani Group founder Gautam Adani.      

While terming Adani’s venture in Australia as a case of crony capitalism, O’Brien said, “How come PM took Adani to Australia and sat next to him during the MoU, which is not going to generate any employment for Indians?”

Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs Minister hit back, calling the reference to the PM highly objectionable. ‘“dani is not Quattrocchi,” he said, referring to the controversial Italian businessman linked to the Gandhis. Trinamool leaders alleged that five global banks - Citibank, Deutsche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC and Barclays – refused to fund the Queensland project, citing decline in coal mining in Australia. “Then what prompted SBI to lend to Adani when global banks had declined to do so,” O’Brien asked.

Recently, Adani Group has signed a MoU to line up a loan of up to $1 billion from SBI for the Carmichael mine in Queensland, which it aims to build by the end of 2017.

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