The Sri Lankan agent of India's Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd., the company which received an in-principle approval to sign a deal with the Sri Lanka Ports
Authority to develop the Eastern Container Terminal of the Colombo Port, has been revealed to be a close friend of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, according to social media reports.
According to the media reports, the Adani Group's representative in Sri Lanka is Sathak Abdul Kadar, an Indian national. He is the Chairman of Serendib Flour Mills and is also the local agent of Adani Global, a coal importer in Sri Lanka.
The local agent of 'Pyramid Wilmar' is millionaire entrepreneur Sajad Mowzoon, who is also a close confidant of the ruling Rajapaksa family.
Company receives approval for a partnership
India’s Adani Group is the front-runner to develop Sri Lanka’s stalled East Container Terminal in Colombo Port, Bloomberg news agency reported, adding that the Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd. and a local partner received an in-principle approval to sign a deal with Sri Lanka Ports Authority.
He is regarded as one of Indian Premier Narendra Modi's closest business associates and has been the main donor for Modi's election campaigns. As such, Gautam Adani has received the full patronage of the Indian government for his business ventures.
Accordingly, the Adani Group's Adani Ports and Special Economic Zone Ltd., which has been named as India's largest integrated ports and logistics company, has also acquired several ports overseas.
Indian media reports suggested that the rise of Adani in the business world seemed to have gone hand in hand with Prime Minister Modi’s ascent to power.
Indian media reports say that Gautam Adani was able to ink 15 deals related to defence, logistics and power with many of the countries that Modi visited. Adani was among the businesspersons who accompanied Modi on many of these foreign trips.
The reports further pointed out that within two months of Modi coming to power, public sector banks under the Reserve Bank of India’s 5/25 refinance scheme have restructured and refinanced loans of many corporates—extending the loan repayment periods from 10 years to 25 years.
"The Adani group has been one of the main beneficiaries of this scheme. From the financial press, we know that at least Rs 15,000 crore of Adani power’s loans have been restructured, extending the loan repayment period from 10 years to 25 years with a 15-month moratorium on interest payments," one report said.
In the run-up to last August's parliamentary elections, workers of the Sri Lanka Port Authority (SLPA) protested against the sale of the Eastern Container Terminal to India. President Gotabaya Rajapaksa promised the SLPA trade unions that the agreement would be reviewed.
However, that commitment was not made in writing, and the trade union leaders, after having discussions with the government, suspended their trade union action abruptly and went into silence.
It is reported that the decision regarding Adani Group was taken after this meeting.
India extended USD 400 million in financial assistance to Sri Lanka in June.