New Delhi, May 23 : The Congress on Tuesday once again took a swipe at the government, alleged that a rule prohibiting investment by opaque funds was done away with by the SEBI on “weak grounds” and said the market regulator cannot run with the hares by diluting reporting requirements and hunt with the hounds pretending to identify beneficial ownership in opaque tax havens.
In a statement shared on Twitter, Congress General Secretary in-charge communications Jairam Ramesh said: “Here is my statement on the latest revelation this morning on the Modani MegaScam which gets curiouser and curiouser by the day as new information trickles out”.
He said that it is now clear that, far from a clean chit, the Supreme Court expert committee on the “Modani mega scama has unveiled how Securities and Exchange Board of India’s (SEBI) investigation of suspicious Adani transactions have been blocked or reached an impasse, which is why the market regulator’s report deadline was extended to August 14”.
“A report today in a leading economic daily now provides details as to how the rule prohibiting investment by opaque funds, i.e. Regulation 32(1)(f) of SEBI (FPI) Regulations, was done away with on weak grounds. Can SEBI explain the pressures placed on it to move in this unexpected direction?” he asked.
“How is improving the ‘Ease of Living’ of those suspected of money-laundering and round-tripping consistent with promises of ‘na khaoonga, na khane doonga (will not indulge in corruption nor let others indulge in it)’,” he asked.”
“It is therefore hardly surprising that SEBI has been unable to find the true beneficiaries of 42 companies based in offshore tax havens that have invested in Adani companies. It cannot run with the hares by diluting reporting requirements and hunt with the hounds pretending to identify beneficial ownership in opaque tax havens like the Cayman Islands, Malta, British Virgin Islands and Bermuda,” Ramesh said.
He claimed that contrary to the finding of the expert committee, this bears a strong resemblance to regulatory failure.
“We earnestly hope that the 14th August SEBI report throws more light on the issue rather than covering it up,” the Congress leader added.
His remarks came after a media report claimed that the Supreme Court-appointed committee scrutinised SEBI’s dropping of a key regulatory requirement for foreign portfolio investments (FPIs) months before it developed suspicions on Adani group shareholding.