UPA’s ‘parting gift’: Adani slapped with Rs 5,500 crore notice

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MUMBAI: One day before it got decimated in the Lok Sabha elections at the hands of the BJP, the Congress-led UPA government gave a farewell shock to Ahmedabad-based Adani group by slapping Rs 5,500 crore show cause notice in a case of alleged “over-valuation” of capital equipment for power projects.

The Mumbai office of Directorate Revenue of Intelligence issued the notice to the group on Thursday, hours before the counting for the Lok Sabha polls was to begin. The development is significant because Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, during his stump speeches, repeatedly attacked the Gujarat-based corporate and its head Gautam Adani for links to Narendra Modi, alleging Adani got land from his government for the price of a toffee.

The Adani group issued several clarifications stating that apart from the Gujarat government, which gave it barren land to develop, the corporate house also got land by three state governments run by different political parties, including the Congress, since 1993.

DRI sources said the agency is investigating “gross over-valuation” of import of equipment and machinery by various entities of the Adani group from a UAE-based company. “The report filed in December last year states that more than Rs 2000 crore has been over-invoiced against the value of imports by various firms of Adani group,” said a DRI official.

In November 2013, the Central Board of Excise & Customs had reminded the Directorate General of Foreign Trade, part of the commerce ministry, to cancel import duty benefits issued to the Adani group in 2004. When contacted, an Adani group spokesperson refused to comment on the issue.

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