Adani Wilmar sells cooking oil and other food products like rice, wheat flour, sugar, besan and soya chunks under the Fortune brand. In Himachal Pradesh, it is a major source of these products for the Civil Supplies and police departments
A signage of Adani group. Pic/AFP
The Himachal Pradesh Excise and Taxation Department inspected an Adani Group company, scrutinising records and checking the stock at the Adani Wilmar warehouse in Parwanoo, officials said on Thursday. The department was apparently investigating possible Goods and Services Tax violations by the company, a 50:50 joint venture between the Adani conglomerate and Singapore-based Wilmar.
The inspection on Wednesday evening in the Congress-run state comes when the group finds itself in the middle of a political row at the Centre, triggered by a scathing report by US-based Hindenburg Research.
But a Himachal Pradesh excise department official told PTI that it was a "routine' exercise, a point also made by an Adani Wilmar statement later. Adani Wilmar sells cooking oil and other food products like rice, wheat flour, sugar, besan and soya chunks under the Fortune brand. In Himachal Pradesh, it is a major source of these products for the Civil Supplies and police departments.
A state excise department official said the company's entire GST input was adjusted through tax credit but no payment was made in cash. But, in its statement, Adani Wilmar cited the Goods and Services Tax rules and claimed "the company is not required to pay tax liability in cash".
An excise official said the Adani Wilmar recorded a turnover of about Rs 350 crore during the last three years. It disclosed a GST liability of about Rs 20 crore and claimed refunds amounting to a little under Rs 2 crore for that period, according to the official.
During the inspection no variation was found between the physical stock and the stock according to the records maintained by the company, the official said. Another Adani company, which produces cement, has been facing a tough time in Himachal Pradesh.
Two cement plants, in Solan and Bilaspur districts, remain closed since December 14 following a dispute with truckers over freight rates.
The new government in the state has intervened, trying to break the stalemate.
The Adani Wilmar statement claimed that officials who visited the warehouse did not find any irregularities. All operations by the company are in full compliance with the relevant laws and regulations, it said. It said depot operations are functioning normally after the inspection. "This was a routine inspection carried out by the relevant authorities and there was no raid as previously stated or reported in the media," it said.
The staff extended their support during the inspection, fully cooperating with officials and local authorities, the company spokesperson said.
Adani Group stocks took a severe beating after Hindenburg Research accused it of share price manipulation and other irregularities last month. The conglomerate has dismissed the allegations as lies.
Parliament has been repeatedly disrupted over the row, with the Opposition questioning the rise of the Adani Group over the past decade and demanding a Joint Parliamentary Committee probe into the allegations in the Hindenburg report.