29 February 2024

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Vedanta Accused of Covert Lobbying Amid COVID-19

Vedanta engaged in “covert” lobbying to undermine important environmental laws during the COVID-19 period. According to a report published on Thursday by the Organised Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP)

According to the OCCRP article, in January 2021, Vedanta Group Chairman Anil Agarwal told former environment minister Prakash Javadekar that the government could give India’s economic recovery “impetus” by allowing mining companies to increase production by up to 50% without needing to obtain new environmental clearances.

Report Alleges Vedanta’s Influence on Environmental Regulations

The study stated that Vedanta’s oil division, Cairn India, was also successful in lobbying to have public hearings for exploratory drilling on oil blocks it won in government auctions cancelled.

As “one of the leading natural resources organisations in India,” Vedanta informed OCCRP that its business objectives included “import substitution by enhancing domestic production in a sustainable manner.”

In light of this, ongoing requests are made to the government for consideration in order to further national development and India’s quest for resource independence, according to a corporate spokeswoman who talked to OCCRP.

The Adani Group family allegedly utilised “opaque” money to invest in equities, according to a previous report on the company by OCCRP.