The Congress Monday accused the NDA government of giving concessions to industrialist Gautam Adani, alleging that it has withdrawn the Rs 200-crore fine imposed on Adani Port and SEZ Ltd for environmental damage allegedly caused during the construction of Mundra port.
The Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has, however, clarified that reports about the waiver are incorrect and stated that the government has imposed more “serious responsibility” on the firm without any cost limit.
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Describing Adani as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “favourite capitalist”, senior Congress leader Jairam Ramesh Monday said that in 2013 a committee of experts had inspected the site after which it submitted a report to the environment ministry, recommending that an Environment Relief Fund worth one per cent of the project cost or Rs 200 crore, whichever was higher, ought to be created to remedy any environmental damage incurred during the construction of Mundra port.
“The Modi government has decided that there will be no ban on Mundra’s North port and has withdrawn the fine. The environment ministry has issued a clarification after the media reported about it… We are releasing a 100 page document… which has information from 2009 and 2016 and it is clear from the notings of the minister and officials that the Modi government has deliberately lifted the ban and withdrawn the fine to give benefit to Adani,” he said.