"Congress has accused SBI of giving loan to Adani group. Adani Group has a mine in Australia, they have signed an MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) only. Loan has not been given. After establishing financial and commercial viability the loan will be decided by the SBI," the minister told reporters here.
He said, "The government has nothing to do with it." The minister added that the public sector bank makes its decisions after taking its Board into confidence.
Prasad said that SBI also gave USD 1.7 billion loan to Jindal Power in 2010.
Earlier in the day, SBI Chairperson Arundhati Bhattacharya said: "We clarify that this is a memorandum of understanding. This is not a loan sanction that we have given.
It will go through proper due diligence both on the credit side as well as on the viability side."
She said that the Board of the company will take a call and then only loan will be given.
Questioning the SBI decision, Congress General Secretary Ajay Maken said: "What was the propriety of the SBI giving the loan to Adani, who was sitting next to Prime Minister during the visit, at a time when some five foreign banks have denied credit to the group for the project?"
SBI and Adani have signed an MoU for a loan of USD 1 billion to Adani Mining, the Australian subsidiary of Adani Enterprises for the Carmichael mine in Queensland, Australia which has massive blocks of untapped coal reserves.