The Congress alleged on Thursday that the role played by tax havens in hiding large-scale violation of Indian laws has been exposed with the “Adani scam”; it said further that the issue should have been discussed at the G20 summit, which concluded recently.
The opposition party also said that if a Joint Parliamentary Probe (JPC) is ordered to probe the allegations against the Adani Group, it will have to make sure that any loopholes for money-laundering and round-tripping are effectively shut.
Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh, in a post on X, said that in the past 25 years, the rise in Indian outward direct investment has been a sign of deepening globalisation.
Ramesh said, “However, it is disturbing that offshore tax havens like Bermuda, Jersey and Cyprus rank among the top 10 destinations for Indian investment, according to the RBI.”
The Congress leader noted that this is in addition to Mauritius, that has long been suspected as a preferred destination for round-tripping and money-laundering.
Ramesh said, “The Adani MegaScam has exposed the critical role such tax havens play in hiding the large-scale violation of Indian laws and regulations. These violations are hollowing out our economy and affecting the credibility of our stock markets.”
He added, “A JPC into the Adani MegaScam will have to make sure that any remaining loopholes for round-tripping and money-laundering are effectively shut.”
He said further, “The G20 was the right forum to take up this issue and ensure concrete action against tax havens. But the Prime Minister was busy projecting his own image rather than protecting India’s interests.”
The main opposition Congress and other parties have been constantly demanding that a JPC probe take place into the Adani issue; they said they will take up the issue during the upcoming special session of Parliament that is scheduled to take place from September 18 to 22.
On January 24, US short-seller Hindenburg Research, in its report, alleged accounting fraud, use of tax havens and stock price manipulation by the Adani Group; that triggered a stock market rout. However, the Adani Group has denied all allegations by Hindenburg.
Gautam Adani is a self-made billionaire, and India’s richest man, with a net worth of roughly $118 billion as of April 2022. Much of this wealth was accumulated during the past three years through his company Adani Group, as the share prices of his key listed companies climbed, pushing the billionaire’s rank to the third-richest man in the world, behind Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos.
The industrialist began as a commodity trader in the 1980s before he founded his company Adani Group in 1988, eventually expanding it into a private infrastructure empire that operates ports, airports, and coal mines across India and the world. The group also has multiple subsidiaries through its data and cable centers and the manufacturing of defense goods. It plans to expand further through a $70 billion investment in green energy businesses in the coming year.
The company’s success has often been linked to lucrative government concessions, thanks to Adani’s close ties with India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. In the past, Adani has been a vocal supporter of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for a “self-reliant India.”