Himachal Excise department inspects Adani Group company warehouse in Parwanoo
The Himachal Pradesh government’s Excise and Taxation Department inspected an Adani Group company, scrutinising records and checking the stock at the Adani Wilmar warehouse in Parwanoo, officials said on Thursday.
The officials were apparently investigating possible GST violations by the company, a 50:50 joint venture between the Adani conglomerate and Singapore-based Wilmar.
The inspection on Wednesday evening in the Congress-run state comes at a time when the group finds itself in the middle of a political row at the Centre, triggered by a scathing report by US-based Hindenburg Research.
But a Himachal Pradesh excise department official told PTI that it was a “routine” exercise, a point also made by an Adani Wilmar statement later.
Adani Wilmar sells cooking oil and other food products like rice, wheat flour, sugar, besan and soya chunks under the Fortune brand. In Himachal Pradesh, it is a major source of these products for the Civil Supplies and police departments.
A state excise department official said the company's entire GST input was adjusted through tax credit but no payment was made in cash. But, in its statement, Adani Wilmar cited the Goods and Services Tax rules and claimed "the company is not required to pay tax liability in cash".
Another Adani company, which produces cement, has been facing a tough time in Himachal Pradesh.
Two cement plants, in Solan and Bilaspur districts, remain closed since December 14 following a dispute with truckers over freight rates.
The new government in the state has intervened in the dispute, trying to break the stalemate between the cement company and the truckers’ association.
The Adani Wilmar statement claimed that officials who visited the warehouse did not find any irregularities. All operations by the company are in “full compliance with relevant laws and regulations”, it said.
It said depot operations are functioning normally after the inspection.
"This was a routine inspection carried out by the relevant authorities and there was no raid as previously stated or reported in the media," it said.
The staff extended their support during the inspection, fully cooperating with officials and local authorities, the company spokesperson said.
Adani Group stocks took a severe beating after Hindenburg Research accused it of share price manipulation and other irregularities last month. The conglomerate has dismissed the allegations as lies.
Parliament has been repeatedly disrupted over the row, with the Opposition questioning the rise of the Adani Group over the past decade and demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the allegations in the Hindenburg report.
Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.