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  4. Aap Ki Adalat: Gautam Adani faces tough questions in no-holds-barred interview with Rajat Sharma

Aap Ki Adalat: Gautam Adani faces tough questions in no-holds-barred interview with Rajat Sharma

In a no-holds-barred interview, Gautam Adani tells Rajat Sharma in AAP KI ADALAT: ‘Rahul is a respected leader, his remarks against me are only political statements’

Edited By: India TV News Desk New Delhi Updated on: January 08, 2023 12:47 IST
Aap Ki Adalat: Gautam Adani faces tough questions in a
Image Source : INDIA TV Aap Ki Adalat: Gautam Adani faces tough questions in a no-holds-barred interview with Rajat Sharma

Aap Ki Adalat: India’s richest industrialist Gautam Adani has, for the first time, replied extensively to Congress leader Rahul Gandhi’s allegations that the Modi government has been favouring the Adani group in matters relating to bank loans and infrastructure projects.

In a no-holds-barred interview in Rajat Sharma’s iconic show, AAP KI ADALAT, on India TV, Adani said: “Rahul Ji is a respected leader (sammaniya neta). He also wants progress. He may be making remarks out of political emotion, but I do not take these more than ‘political bayaan-baazi’ (political remarks).”

Adani's remarks on Rahul Gandhi

In a light, bantering mood, Adani told Rajat Sharma: “By asking about Rahul Ji again and again, you will start a quarrel between me and him, and he may come out with a fresh statement tomorrow. I consider Rahul Ji as a ‘sammaniya neta’. He has to run his political party. They have their ideological battle, where charges and counter-charges are made. I am an ordinary industrialist (sammaniya udyogpati). I am doing my work. He does his politics in his own manner.” (Rahul Ji ki baat karke waapas aap mere ko Rahulji se jhagda karwa dengey, aur kal who ek aur statement de dengey. Rahul Ji ek sammaniya neta hain. Unkpo bhi political party chalani hai. Unki ideology ki ladhai hoti hai, usme aarop, pratyarop hota hai. Main toh ek saamanya udyogpati hoon. Main mera kaam karta hoon, Who politics apne hisab se karte hain)

 
Adani said: “Prior to 2014, people particularly in North India had hardly heard the name of Adani. We hail from Gujarat, where people knew us. During the 2014 elections and after that, Rahul Ji continuously attacked us. As a result, people here came to know who was Adani, and that is why, I am sitting here (in the dock of Aap Ki Adalat).”

What Adani said about getting help from Narendra Modi? 

 Asked about the help he got from Narendra Modi, when he was Chief Minister of Gujarat, Gautam Adani replied: “I got three big breaks in my life. First, in 1985 during Rajiv Gandhi’s rule, when Exim policy allowed our company to become a global trading house, second, in 1991, when P.V. Narasimha Rao and Dr Manmohan Singh opened up the economy, and we entered into public-private partnership mode, and third, during Narendra Modi’s 12-year-long rule in Gujarat….I can say with pride that it was a very good experience. But I want to tell you that you can never get any personal help from Modi Ji. You can speak to him about policies in the national interest, but when a policy is framed, it is for all, not only for the Adani group.”

Adani replied to allegations about bank loans, projects, seizure of drugs at Mundra airport and farm laws in detail

On Rahul Gandhi’s allegation that the Adani group has got most of the ports, airports and other infra projects, Gautam Adani replied: “ We did not get a single project without bidding. Our Adani group has this philosophy of not touching any project without bidding, whether it is a port, an airport, roads or powerhouse. There is not a single allegation that we ‘managed’ bidding. Even Rahul Ji has not levelled any allegation about tampering with the bidding process.
 
On Rahul Gandhi’s allegation that Adani group has got Rs 2 lakh crore bank loans from money deposited by people in banks, Adani replied: “Any infra project requires equity and bank loan which is normally 40:60 in nature. The borrowers are profiled by ratings. Adani group is the only business group in India whose companies have ratings that are equivalent to India’s sovereign rating. Independent rating agencies do complete financial analysis before giving the rating, and on this basis, banks give loans. Our group is so disciplined that in our 25-year-old history, we have not made even a day’s delay in payment. After 2013, we used to take 80% of loans from Indian banks, and the interest rate then went up to 35%. We went to the international market with a global rating. As you know, global markets do not give loans at the behest of anybody from India. Such allegations (about the Modi government asking banks to give loans) are baseless. Such allegations are levelled because of political compulsions, but it is a matter between borrowers and lenders. There has been no difficulty on this score…. In the last 7-8 years, our loans rose by 11%, while our income rose by 24%. It is because of our profitability that our ratings improved. Today our profitability is more than our borrowings.”

What if Adani balloon bursts...?

Asked by Rajat Sharma, “if the Adani balloon bursts, many banks may sink”, Gautam Adani replied: “This may be the wish of some critics, but I can tell you that Adani group’s assets are three to four times our borrowings. Nobody’s money is not unsecured.”
Rajat Sharma asked: “What if the balloon bursts?”, Adani replied: “So long as India progresses, this balloon will move forward”. (Hindi script: India jab tak aagey badhta rahega, yeh gubbara aagey chalta rahega)
 
On Rahul Gandhi’s allegation that the Centre is not taking action despite the seizure of Rs 20,000 crore drugs at Mundra port in 2021, Rs 5,000 crore worth drugs in May 2022, and Rs 375 crore worth drugs in July, 2022, Adani replied: “The work of port operator is limited to cargo operations. We do not have policing, inspection or arrest powers. This is done by different agencies of government. They are only trying to mislead people. It is not that drugs smuggling took place from our port only. They come in even through airports. All investigations by government agencies after drug seizures at our port are done 360-degree. People are interrogated. Seizure papers are completed only after interrogations. I don’t think the Adani group was given any special treatment.”

'Aam Aadmi behaal, Adani maalamaal...'
 
On the Congress party’s slogan, ‘Aam Aadmi behaal, Adani maalamaal’, Gautam Adani replied: “Look, whatever political narrative one may try to draw, ultimately, tell us, where is the allegation? One is a political statement, and the other is a really genuine allegation. Let the people decide what is the truth.”

Adani on his group's investments in Rajasthan
 
On Adani group investing Rs 68,000 crore in Congress-ruled Rajasthan, Gautam Adani replied: “ Investment is our normal programme. I had gone to Rajasthan investors’ summit at the invitation of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot. Later, even Rahul Ji praised our investment in Rajasthan. I know Rahul’s policies are not anti-development. We want to make maximum investments in every state….Adani group is really happy that today it is working in 22 states, and all these states are not BJP-ruled….I can say with clarity that we do not have any problem with any state government. We are working even in Left-ruled Kerala, in Mamata Didi’s West Bengal, in Naveen Patnaik Ji’s Odisha, in Jaganmohan Reddy’s state, even KCR’s state.”
 
Asked by Rajat Sharma why opposition parties are alleging that Modi is Adani’s ‘chowkidar’, Gautam Adani replied: “ Very few people who have difficulty with Modi Ji, or because of ideological jostling, say such things. From my experience, I can only say that most of the people like Modi Ji and Adani’s development model. They do not find any problem.”

Gautam Adani's views on repealed farm laws
 
Gautam Adani described the repeal of farm laws as “unfortunate”. He said, “In agriculture, our group has very limited exposure. We had built some warehouses for the Food Corporation of India for storing wheat. We did not buy wheat from those warehouses. We only provided infrastructure. …Genuinely as a citizen, I think the farm laws were good, and they had to be repealed when a political tone was given to them. 40-50% of people in India directly or indirectly, depend on agriculture. Today India has the capability to supply food to the entire world. But the major problem is infrastructure, which includes transport by rail, cold storage, lack of warehousing…It is not a question of the Adani group’s benefit. “

Adani stokes optimism about India’s future

The world’s third richest person was very much optimistic about India’s future. Adani said: “India is progressing fast. It took 58 years since independence for India to achieve $ 1 trillion economy, it took another 12 years to achieve $2 trillion economy, it took five years to achieve $3 trillion economy today, and India is now in a position where its economy can touch $30 trillion by 2050. Naturally, per capita income will grow and job opportunities will increase. Nobody can stop India in the coming years.”

WATCH THE FULL INTERVIEW HERE: 

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