Thu, 30 Mar 2023

New Delhi [India], February 6 (ANI): Congress MP Pramod Tiwari on Monday moved a Suspension of Business notice in Rajya Sabha to discuss the issue of "frauds in investment by LIC, SBI, Public Sector Banks and other financial institutions losing market value".

"I hereby give notice under Rule 267 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Council of State (Rajya Sabha) of my intention to move the following motion for the Suspension of Business - That the House do suspend Zero Hour and relevant rules relating to Question Hour and other businesses of the day to discuss the issue of frauds in investment by LIC, SBI, Public Sector Banks and other Financial Institutions losing market value, there share value is going nose down, endangering the hard-earned savings of crores of Indians," Pramod Tiwari wrote to Rajya Sabha Chairman.

Congress MP Syed Naseer Hussain also moved a Suspension of Business notice in Rajya Sabha to discuss the issue.

The Congress and 16 opposition parties have demanded a joint parliamentary committee (JPC) or Supreme Court-monitored probe into the Hindunberg report against the Adani Group, alleging a scam.

Meanwhile, Opposition MPs staged a protest near the Gandhi statue in Parliament House on Monday.

A report by a US-based Hindenburg Research surfaced on January 24, claiming that the Adani Group had weak business fundamentals, and was involved in stock manipulation and accounting fraud, among others. The report triggered a sell-off of shares of all Adani Group companies.

The Congress will launch a countrywide protest in front of Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) offices and State Bank of India (SBI) branches today to protest against the alleged Adani scam.

It is being argued by the Opposition that the investment of the Adani group in public sector banks such as the SBI and LIC has had a big impact on the savings of the middle class.

Even as the Opposition has been pressing its demand for a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) probe into the Hindenburg-Adani row, the lenders have said that their exposure to the conglomerate is within permitted limits while the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) has asserted that it is committed to ensuring market integrity.

SEBI said that the Indian financial market as represented by Sensex and Nifty has demonstrated ongoing stability and is continuing to function in a transparent, fair and efficient manner.

Adani group stocks had witnessed a crash following Hindenburg Research report.

Last week, Adani Enterprises decided not to go ahead with its fully subscribed Follow-on Public Offer (FPO), with the Group chairman Gautam Adani stating on Thursday that it would not be "morally correct" to go ahead with the Rs 20,000-crore share in the current market condition.

Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who addressed a post-budget press conference in Mumbai, said the regulators are independent of the government and they are left to themselves to do what is appropriate so the market is well regulated.

"This is not the first time that some FPO (follow-on public offering) is taken back. How many times that has affected the image of the country?" she said.

The Reserve Bank of India said on Friday that according to its current assessment, the banking sector remains resilient and stable.

The central bank had said it maintains a constant vigil on the sector and on individual banks with a view to maintaining financial stability.

Without naming the Adani Group, RBI said in a statement that there have been media reports expressing concern about the exposures of Indian banks to a business conglomerate.

The central bank said it remains vigilant and continues to monitor the stability of the Indian banking sector.

State Bank of India (SBI) chairman Dinesh Khara had said the bank's total exposure amounting to Rs 27,000 crore in Adani Group is 0.88 per cent of its loan book.

"We have lent to Adani (group) for projects having tangible assets and adequate cash. They have met obligations...our total exposure to Adani group is 0.88 per cent as of December 31," he said at a press conference.

Khara added that loans were against assets or cash-generating businesses, and the bank does not see any challenge. "There's no cause for concern for us," he added.

Opposition parties forced adjournments in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha over the Hindenburg-Adani group row on Thursday and Friday.

They have sought discussion over investment by LIC, Public Sector Banks, and financial institutions "in companies losing market value, endangering the savings of crores of Indians" following a report by Hidenburg Research which has made allegations against some companies of Adani group. The Adani group had termed the report "nothing but a lie". (ANI)

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