India's Adani Group said on Wednesday it would consult authorities and stakeholders on its port project in Myanmar, after human rights groups reported its subsidiary had agreed to pay millions of dollars in rent to a military-controlled firm.
A military coup in Myanmar on Feb. 1 and an ensuing crackdown on mass protests in which hundreds were killed have drawn international condemnation and sanctions on military figures and military-controlled entities.
Adani Ports and SEZ Ltd in 2020 won a bid to build and operate Yangon International Terminal, which it has said is an independent project fully owned and developed by the company.
The Australian Centre for International Justice and Justice for Myanmar on Tuesday released a report citing documents purporting to show that an Adani unit will pay up to $30 million in land lease fees for the project to Myanmar Economic Corporation (MEC).
MEC was one of two military-controlled conglomerates sanctioned by the United States last week, and other international firms including Japanese brewer Kirin have cut ties with the conglomerates since the coup.
Adani did not comment on the lease payments detailed in the report, but said the land acquisition for its project was facilitated by the Myanmar Investment Commission under the now-ousted civilian government.
"Much like our global peers, we are watching the situation in Myanmar carefully and will engage with the relevant authorities and stakeholders to seek their advice on the way forward," an Adani spokesman said in a statement.
The spokesman said the company condemned violations of human rights and was working with independent think tanks to mitigate any human rights risks.
Adani's port projects in Australia and India's southern Tamil Nadu state have also been criticised by activist groups, politicans and locals over environmental concerns.
Adani said it was building "sustainable" and "critical port infrastructure".