Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB) has demanded that the opaque and unfair contract with Adani Group, which is accused of share and account fraud, be reviewed and, if necessary, terminated.
In a statement released on Friday (17 February), TIB underlined its grave fear that the controversial business could end up controlling Bangladesh’s power industry if the Bangladesh Power Development Board carried through its deal to buy 1,600 MW of electricity from India’s Adani Power (BPDB).
“For the sake of national interest, especially considering that the final burden of the agreement will be borne by the people of the country,” TIB suggested a thorough analysis of the terms of the agreement involving experts in the relevant sectors, formation of amendments where applicable and termination of the agreement if necessary.
News reports in the national and international media claim that the electricity produced by the Adani power plant in Godda, Jharkhand, will cost about three times as much as the electricity produced nationally.
Additionally, according to the statement, Adani Power must be purchased at this high price under the terms of the power purchase agreement (PPA).
TIB Executive Director Dr Iftekharuzzaman said, “This contract with Adani Power of Adani Group, which is accused of share market and accounting manipulation and fraud, has been considered unequal and opaque in a reliable international analysis and unprecedentedly discriminatory for Bangladesh.”
“It seems that the agreement ignores the interests of Bangladesh and favours the interests of the Adani group in such a way that the electricity sector of Bangladesh can become a hostage in the hands of this company, the burden of which will have to be borne by the people of this country,” he added.
The TIB executive director stated, “The coal used in the Godda power plant will come from disputed mines owned by Adani in Indonesia and Australia and by Adani ships, which will be unloaded at Adani-owned ports and transport will be done by Adani owned railways. Again the generated electricity will be transported in the transmission line built by Adani.”
Also, according to the statement, Adani’s Godda project will be required to pay capacity costs at an unacceptablely high rate in comparison to all other projects run by domestic and international businesses.
If necessary, the agreement should be canceled while placing the interests of the nation and its citizens first. Iftekharuzzaman urged BPDB and the concerned policy-makers of the government to urgently revise the terms and conditions of the agreement after a thorough objective analysis involving nationally and internationally renowned experts.