Feb 9, 2023
Tax Officials Inspect Adani Wilmar Facility as Scrutiny Mounts
(Bloomberg) -- Indian state government officials inspected Adani Wilmar Ltd.’s warehouse and office in northern Himachal Pradesh to find out if there are any tax violations just as scrutiny of Adani Group companies grows.
The Department of State Taxes and Excise has taken some documents into their custody and officials are examining them, said Naresh Chauhan, principal media adviser to the Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister. “It was a routine inspection on Wednesday to find out whether there is any tax evasion,” he said Thursday.
Billionaire Gautam Adani’s companies have suffered a stock meltdown in recent weeks after US short-seller Hindenburg Research accused the conglomerate of manipulation and accounting fraud, which executives have repeatedly denied. The fallout extended beyond financial markets, with an increasing focus on the close ties between the embattled tycoon and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Himachal Pradesh is governed by the opposition Congress party, which edged out Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party in state elections last year.
A spokesperson for Adani Wilmar said its depot warehouse at Parwanoo, Himachal Pradesh, was visited by tax officials, and they did not find any irregularities in the operations and dealings conducted by the company.
“We would like to emphasise that this was a routine inspection,” the spokesperson said in response to Bloomberg questions. “We are committed to conducting business in a responsible and transparent manner, and all our operations are in full compliance with relevant laws and regulations.” The depot operations are functioning normally after the visit.
Singapore-based Wilmar said last week it will continue to support the Adani Wilmar joint venture. The unit was incorporated in 1999, and is now one of India’s fastest-growing packaged-food companies, supplying essentials such as edible oil, wheat flour, rice, pulses and sugar.
Shares of Adani Wilmar climbed as much as 5.1% on Thursday to head for a third straight day of increases. The stock has still lost almost 30% this year.
--With assistance from Anuradha Raghu.
(Updates with details on Himachal Pradesh in fourth paragraph)
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