Pirc, the UK shareholder advisory group, is calling on investors to stage a protest vote over hefty Indian political donations by Vedanta, the London-listed, India-focused mining group, in the run-up to key state elections.
The group is advising shareholders to withhold their votes on Vedanta's report and accounts at its annual meeting on 28 August, after the miner revealed it had made $2.01m (£1.3m) of political donations in the year to end-March, compared with $0.02m a year earlier. "The board states that it believes that supporting the political process in India will encourage and strengthen the democratic process. However, there are concerns with the amount involved," a Pirc spokesman said.
"Further, the use of shareholder funds as a donation for political parties is a questionable use of shareholders' money," he added.