New Delhi: The Trinamool Congress on Thursday accused the central government of crony capitalism and questioned the State Bank of India's grant of a loan to the Adani Group for a mining project in Australia.
"SBI has pledged to lend Rs.6,000 crore to Adani Group," Trinamool MP Derek O'Brien said, raising the issue in the Rajya Sabha during zero hour.
"This is the largest loan given by any Indian bank. State Bank has pledged to lend Rs.6,000 crore but they have signed MoU for Rs.200 crore," O'Brien said.
"Five leading banks of the world - Citi Bank, Deutche Bank, Royal Bank of Scotland, HSBC and Barclays denied giving funds for this project in Australia," he said.
"They denied giving funds because they said coal mining in Australia is in structural decline and they said coal prices are falling by 50 percent for the last three years and it will continue to fall. They also gave some environmental reasons, I do not want to get into that."
O'Brien described it as "the latest example of crony capitalism".
"This gentleman (Adani Group chairman Gautam Adani) was with the PM (prime minister) everyday through his trip in US...through those meetings there in Brisbane he was there," he said.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister M. Venkaiah Naidu objected to the remark, saying the Adani Group chairman was part of the 20-member business delegation, which visited separately during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to Australia.
"What the member has said about the PM is objectionable...There was a 20-member delegation with him," Naidu said.