New Delhi, Aug 18 (IANS) The Congress on Friday demanded a CBI investigation monitored by a Supreme Court judge into an alleged nearly Rs 50,000-crore scam engineered by a subsidiary of the Adani Enterprises and some shell companies by artificially inflating electricity tariffs.
The party also sought a reply from Prime Minister Narendra Modi as to why he was seen being accompanied by Adani Group head Gautam Adani on foreign tours, when his company had been accused of wrong-doing in an investigation by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
The party will also pursue this matter by filing a petition before the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) on this issue soon.
Citing a 97-page DRI report, which appeared in an international publication, the party said: "On February 5, 2013, the Congress-led UPA government initiated an inquiry into the practice of over-invoicing in import of electrical equipment/machinery by a subsidiary of the Adani Enterprises Ltd."
"The detailed findings of the investigation by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence that concluded in 2014, gave clear and compelling evidence of over-invoicing of machinery by the Adani group," said Congress spokesperson Ajay Maken.
"Investigating this practice is critical as the price of this equipment has a direct bearing on the price paid by the common man for electricity.
"The DRI's findings hold the Adani Group and its shell companies responsible for bogusly overpricing the import of electricity generating and inflating its cost by up to 860 per cent more than its actual purchase value for an electricity project in Maharashtra using a front company in Dubai," added Maken.
Quoting the published report, Maken said: "The Dubai company allegedly sold the exact same equipment back to Adani Group-controlled businesses in India at massively inflated prices, in some instances said to be eight times the sale price.
"According to the allegations...the effect of these transactions was that the Adani Group spent an average 400 per cent more for the materials. That money was allegedly paid to a company Indian authorities allege was owned through a series of shell companies leading to a Mauritius trust controlled by Vinod Adani," he added.
Furhther quoting the report, Maken said: "It goes on to state that the DRI is investigating 40-odd companies for allegedly over-invoicing coals from Indonesia."
"The three methods through which electricity tariffs have been artificially inflated are -- over-valuation of imported coal to the tune of Rs 29,000 crore, over-valuation of power plant equipment to the tune of Rs 9,000 crore and compensatory tariffs awarded to the tune of at least Rs 10,000 crore, or possibly higher," he quoted excerpts from the article.
The party also demanded that there should be an immediate reduction in power costs by up to a factor of Rs 2/unit wherever these companies were producing and transmitting electricity.
"The government should immediately order a CBI investigation monitored by a judge of the Supreme Court into the corrupt practices of over-invoicing which in turn lead to grossly inflated prices for the public.