Kolkata, India: Indians across the nation woke up to an eye-watering sum of money for investment in the nation, offered by a US company, but experts have raised concern.
On the Monday edition of the Times of India had an ad announcing that an unnamed “US-based” company – Landomus Realty Venture Inc. – plans to spend $500 billion (Rs. 36 lakh crores) in Indian government-approved infrastructure projects.
While the interest for investment in itself may not be very unusual, the budget of $500 billion, which is just shy of India’s reserve of hard cash has raised eyebrows.
To put the figure in perspective, $500 billion is more than Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Tesla CEO Elon Musk, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates’ total net wealth.
In India, the amount (Rs 36 lakh crore) is greater than the government’s whole FY22 expenditure budget.
More than the budget, the unconventional method of the advert and the ad copy too has prompted some thinkers to scratch their heads and dig deeper.
Furthermore, a representative from Landomus Realty Venture Inc. wants a meeting with Modi in the newspaper ad, which adds to the suspicion.
“We have a concrete plan to make India pandemic free and request you to present us an opportunity to present our plan,” the advertisement reads. It also lists the name of the company’s chairman, Pradeep Kumar S.
Strange ad in the Times of India today. This company wants to invest $500 billion in India, slightly less than Indian total hard currency reserves and it is going the advertorial route with an appeal to the Indian PM? Wonder why. pic.twitter.com/s2Qdi5P8HD
— Smita Prakash (@smitaprakash) May 24, 2021
“Landomus Group aims to assist the government in its endeavor to rebuild India and achieve the $5 trillion Gross Domestic Product (GDP) target,” the ad said.
The company says its investment in India will go toward the National Infrastructure Pipeline (NIP), a project initiated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in 2019.
The advertisement also claims that any investment will be part of the federal Commerce Ministry’s “Invest India” effort, which aims to make all incoming investments into the country easier.
A company that is planning to invest $500Bn in India:
Domain registered by: United Land Bank
— 🆁🅺 (@TheRishiK) May 24, 2021
However, despite the sky-high announcements, it was found, the Landomus Group has only 19 employees and a revenue of $3 million, according to reports.
It’s also registered as a non-governmental organization in Bengaluru, India. The company was found to be registered in July 2015 with a paid-up capital of 100,000 INR ($1,371) and authorized share capital of 1 million INR ($13,730).
Except for a few words about the company’s “Build India” objective and an “Our team” section, the company’s one-page website didn’t reveal anything.
Many Twitter users were perplexed by the lack of an “our history” section on the website.