The largest investment pledges received by the Ashok Gehlot-led Congress government in Rajasthan under the “Invest Rajasthan” outreach program include pledges from Adani Group led by Gautam Adani and Reliance Industries Ltd, chaired by Mukesh Ambani , according to information obtained by The Indian Express under the Right to Information (RTI) Act.
Data provided by the state’s Bureau of Promotion of Investments (BoIP) following the RTI application shows that the two companies together pledged more than Rs 1.68 lakh crore between December 2021 and March 2022 in Letters of Intent (LoI) / Memoranda of Understanding (MoU), with the state government. This represents almost 18% of the Rs 9,40,453 crore – the total value of investment pledges of over Rs 1,000 crore during the period.
The investment pledges have reached the Congress-led state despite former party chairman Rahul Gandhi accusing the BJP at the center of crony capitalism – he called Adani and Ambani a ‘double-A variant’ spreading across the country. Indian economy and leading to monopolies in different sectors – in the Lok Sabha in February this year. He had also previously taken similar taunts of the BJP-led government at the Center.
According to the data provided, investment pledges were made between December 2021 and March 2022 by Reliance New Energy Solar Limited (Rs 1,00,000 crore), Adani Green Energy Limited (Rs 60,000 crore), Adani Infra Limited (Rs 5,000 crore ), Adani Total Gas Limited (Rs 3,000 crore) and Adani Wilmar Ltd (Rs 246.08 crore).
Among the 4,016 institutions listed by Rajasthan BoIP are also JSW Future Energy Limited (Rs 40,000 crore), Sterlite Power Technologies Private Limited of Vedanta Group (Rs 40,000 crore), Hindustan Zinc Cairn, also of Vedanta Group (Rs 33,350 crore), Axis Energy Ventures Private Limited (Rs 30,000 crore), Axis Energy (Rs 30,000 crore), Eden-Renewables (Rs 20,000 crore) and Tata Power (Rs 15,000 crore).
The BoIP website describes the “Invest Rajasthan” program as “the state’s active investor outreach program comprising of domestic, domestic and international investor meetups, embassy connection programs and virtual seminars. The program aims to solicit investment proposals, process them in mission mode and bring them to fruition.
Newsletter | Click to get the best explainers of the day delivered to your inbox
The state originally planned to hold an “Invest Rajasthan Summit” in January this year, but it was postponed due to the Covid-19 situation. As the summit project approached, Chief Minister Gehlot had even met several industrialists, including Gautam Adani. The summit is now scheduled for October 7-8 in Jaipur.
In February this year, during the debate on the vote of thanks to the President, Rahul Gandhi spoke of what he called the decimation of small and medium industry to the concentration of capital in the hands of “AA (a reference to Ambani and Adani). A few months ago, in December 2021, addressing a rally in Jaipur to protest against rising prices, he said: “Aa gaye acche din. Kiske? Hum do, hamare do, unke. Dekho airport, dekho port, dekho coal mine, dekho telephone, dekho supermarket, jahan bhi dekho bhaiya do log dikhenge aapko, Adani ji, Ambani ji. Unki galti nahin hai. Dekho bhaiya aapko agar koi muft mein kuch de, aap kya wapas de doge? Nahin Doge. Unki galti thodi hai. Galti Pradhan Mantri ki hai (The good times have arrived. For whom? It is for ‘the two of us, our two’. Be it the airport, the port, the coal mine, the telephone, the supermarket, wherever you see, you will see two people, Adani Ji and Ambani Ji. It’s not their fault. If you get something for free, are you going to deny it? No, you won’t. It’s not their fault; it’s the Prime Minister’s mistake).