Dabhol Power Corporation Enron's India Saga


| February 13, 2002 Issue


Dabhol Power Corporation: Enron's India Saga, Ullas Sharma, The Yellow Times
In 1992, the name Enron did not immediately conjure up images of corruption and bribery. Unless you lived in India, that is. That was the year Enron came to India with a proposal to set up a series of large electrical plants under the name Dabhol Power Company. Although the World Bank advised against it, the Indian government inexplicably invested in the venture, along with several Indian businesses and banks. Writing in The Yellow Times, Ullas Sharma traces the complicated web of alleged bribery, human rights abuses, environmental destruction, and lawsuits, including $28 million spent to "educate" Indians about Enron's interests in the subcontinent. By January 2002, the Dabhol Power Company was up for sale, and Enron received twice as much money as they had put into the project, while the Indian government suffered a loss. Much like Enron's American operations, many of the assets were stored in off-shore banks. The combination of assets and alleged bribery catapulted Enron into a position of power over the Indian government and businesses, leading two Indian judges to remark, "[Enron] should therefore, act and behave like an investor or an industrial house and not as a government!"
--Madeleine Baran
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