Cong says something 'fishy' after auditor issues qualified opinion on accounts of Adani Ports & SEZ

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Jairam Ramesh | File Photo: PTI

New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday cited a "qualified opinion" issued by an auditor on the accounts of Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone to ask why the firm did not engage an independent entity to address the auditor's concerns if everything is above board.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the auditor Deloitte Haskins and Sells certainly is not buying Adani's hollow "clean chit" claims, even as the Securities and Exchange Board of India investigations continue.

"It has stated that Adani Ports' transactions with three entities cannot be shown to be with unrelated parties, and has therefore issued a 'qualified opinion' on the company's accounts. It further says that Adani 'has refused to get an independent external examination that would help prove so'," Ramesh said in a tweet.

What is Adani Ports hiding, he asked.

"Why not engage an independent firm to address your auditor's concerns if everything is above board as claimed?" the Congress leader said and added 'Dal mein kuchh kala toh hoga (there would be something fishy)', using the Hindi proverb.

Ramesh's remarks came after Auditor Deloitte flagged three transactions, including recoveries from a contractor identified in the Hindenburg Research report, as it issued a qualified opinion on the accounts of Adani Ports & Special Economic Zone.

In the auditors' report on the audit of the fourth quarter and 2022-23 financials, Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLP highlighted transactions with three entities, which the company said were unrelated parties.

Deloitte, however, said it could not attest to the company's statement as no independent external examination has been done to prove the claims.

Hindenburg Research in its January 24 report that levelled allegations of fraud, stock manipulation, and money laundering against the Adani group, had also flagged inadequate disclosures of related party transactions.

While the group has denied all allegations, the Supreme Court constituted an expert committee for assessment of the extant regulatory framework and asked stock market regulator SEBI to complete its probe into allegations.


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