By: Akhilesh Mishra – CEO, BlueKraft Digital Foundation
Recently, Adani group has been projected to be some sort of a Modi government creation. This is not just true about the international media post the stocks downturn, but also in the way vested Indian interests have commented.
What is the reality?
Adani saga began in 1985 when Rajiv Gandhi govt put PVCs in open general license category. PVC was main raw material for Adani family’s plastic business. Adani negotiated a deal with Gujarat State Export Corporation (Congress govt) to import PVC thus earning huge margins.
Flush with profits from PVC business, flagship Adani Enterprises was born in 1988 & listed in 1994. Main business of Adani then: initially import/export of commodities and then soon it became India’s biggest coal trader & coal mining contractor. All under Congress govt.
Next phase of Adani growth came in 1995. Unsuccessful partnership with Cargill to farm salt gave Adani unused 7,000 acres of land in Mundra. With ports liberalized in 1991 by Narasimha Rao govt, Adani entered a deal in 1995 with Gujarat Maritime Board to develop Mundra.
The Mundra port, that Adani started under Congress government, soon became operational. MT Alpha-2, a 1982 built product tanker of 4671 DWT capacity- became the first small tanker ship to have anchored at Mundra Port on 7 October 1998.
First phase of Mundra port completed in the year 2000 itself by which time Adani had already invested over Rs. 3,700 crores. In fact Mundra became a model to develop other ports like Pipavav, Dahej and Hazira under BOOT model of 1997.
Then came UPA Government under Dr. Manmohan Singh. Between 23rd June 2006 & 11th August 2008, UPA approved six SEZs of Adani group in Mundra. All these 6 approvals were merged into one vide S.O. number 1365 (E) of 27th May 2009 with additional land grant of 258.2112 Ha.
Adani’s mining & power generation operations also got their boost during UPA period. The MDO operations first commenced commercial operations on April 8, 2013 under its agreement with Rajasthan power utility. Then government in Rajasthan – Congress.
But much before 2013, in year 2010 itself,Adani group had acquired Carmichael coal mine in Australia, which subsequently faced lot of environmental issues. This international foray took place when central government was of UPA under Dr. Manmohan Singh. But this was not all.
That same year 2010, Adani group signed agreement with Indonesian government mining company PT Bukit for 60% rights over it coal reserves in lieu of Rs. 7,500 Cr investment. Govts of Maharashtra & Odisha also signed MDO agreements with Adani group.
Adani’s group’s plans to emerge as India’s leading power producer were reported in 2008 itself, when UPA was in power. The plans in 2008 included investment of Rs, 45,000 Cr over next 5-7 years to set up 10,000 MW generating capacity.
The first unit of 4,620 MW coal-fired mega thermal plant at Mundra was commissioned in 2009 itself when UPA was in power. By 2011, Adani group had already emerged as India’s leading private thermal power producer surpassing Tata, Reliance & Essar.
Even in renewables, Adani group has set up and commissioned its first solar powered plant in January 2013 itself, again while UPA under Dr. Manmohan Singh was in power at center.
What do all the above links and Adani group’s expansion pre-2014 prove? That the Adani group was already a multi domain mega conglomerate much before 2014; that it had gained approvals across sectors under UPA government and charted future growth plans basis these.
Post 2014 policies of Modi government have helped Indian businesses expand across all domains – fact reflected by more than doubling of the BSE index or the exponential growth in Startups & Unicorns. Adani group’s growth post 2014 is part of same across-the-board phenomenon.
It is not as if post 2014, opposition governments have not courted Adani to leverage the groups’ strengths. Bengal CM
@MamataOfficial met Adani in Dec 2021. Soon enough, Rs. 10,000 Cr investment was announced.
@ShashiTharoor was personally present at ground breaking ceremony of Vizhinjam Port in 2015. More recently, Adani group announced takeover of the Thiruvananthapuram airport. Tharoor again welcomed it.
More recently, the entire
@PawarSpeaks clan descended to welcome Adani group in Baramati with Sharad Pawar’s nephew personally driving Adani from airport.
But this is not all. There are innumerable examples of non-BJP governments welcoming Adani group in their states for investments in multiple industrial development projects. From Chhattisgarh to Punjab and from Rajasthan to Jharkhand, the list is all encompassing.
Adani group in Chhattisgarh: Permission for mining in Hasdeo Aranya coalfield despite reservations; Hand over of Gidhamudi and Paturia coal mines in Korba district; Jhigador mine given to Adani in auction in August 2021.
Adani Group in Rajasthan: Congress government leased 1,600 hectares of land across various zones in Rajasthan to Adani Group for 1,500 MW solar park; Another Rs. 50,000 Cr investment for 9,700 MW Hybrid energy park (wind+solar).
Adani Group in Maharashtra: Shiv Sena-Congress-NCP coalition government handed over the Dighi port to Adnai group to build alternative gateway to JNPT; A total of 49% stake in Maharashtra Border Check Post Network given to Adani group.
Adani Group in Punjab and Jharkhand: Punjab: Power supply contract under Congress government in 2021; Jharkhand: SEZ award covering over 425 Hectares and Rs. 14,000 Cr investment. Soren govt continues to support this and even gave relaxations.
Adani Group in Kerala: Allotted India’s first ever and ambitious international transshipment project in Vizhinjam. The Left front government has even been accused of giving undue favors to Adani group by not imposing penalties for delay.
To sum up, the spin by international media, aided by perennial Modi haters, has inverted history once more. Adani Group made its entire name during Congress rules under multiple PMs – from Rajiv Gandhi to Manmohan Singh. Post 2014, it has flourished as rest of India has.