New Delhi, Jun 30 (PTI) The Congress accused the government on Wednesday of promoting crony capitalists and demanded answers from it on why loans worth crores of rupees were extended to Ruchi Soya, owned by yoga exponent Ramdev, even when the financial position of the company was poor.
Congress spokesperson Pawan Khera alleged that the tag of crony capitalism does not seem to leave this government and blamed the prime minister for it.
'Prime Minister (Narendra) Modi and his government continue to support and aid their crony capitalist friends who, in turn, back all the public relation acts of the prime minister,' he told reporters.
Khera alleged that Ruchi Soya, now owned by Ramdev's Patanjali group, filed for insolvency after it took loans of Rs 12,146 crore from public-sector banks such as the State Bank of India (SBI) and the Punjab National Bank (PNB).
He also alleged that after having failed to recover its loans from Ruchi Soya, the SBI funded the Patanjali group a major part of the Rs 3,250 crore it borrowed from public banks for buying out the company for Rs 4,350 crore.
There was no comment available from the company or Ramdev.
'The prime minister and the government cannot continue to support these capitalists and businessmen babas at the expense of the exchequer and the common man as this is a nation built by the common man, not by businessmen babas.
'The banks, the government and Patanjali -- all three need to come out and answer to the people of India and explain the details of this deal,' Khera said.
He posed several questions to the government about the 'pressure' under which the SBI funded Patanjali's investments in Ruchi Soya and on whose advice.
The Congress leader alleged that just five months after acquiring Ruchi Soya, the price of the company's shares skyrocketed by 8,929 per cent from Rs 17 to Rs 1,535 and its valuation went up to Rs 35,360 crore from Rs 4,350 crore in 2019.
He also alleged that after the acquisition, the government restricted the import of palmolein oil, a move that was perhaps the reason why the share price of Ruchi Soya zoomed.
'The pace at which the shares shot up, the actions of the government pertaining to palmolein oil, the decision of a PSB like the SBI to further lend Patanjali in its acquisition of Ruchi Soya, whose loans had to be written off demand an investigation into the issue,' Khera said. PTI SKC RC