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Will BJP seek Sitharaman's resignation over 80:20 scheme: Congress

IANS  |  New Delhi 

The on Thursday said was peddling "white lies" to befool people on '80:20 Gold Import Scheme' and asked if he would seek the resignation of then for validating the scheme.

The party said that on August 13, 2014, Sitharaman justified the '80:20 Gold Import Scheme' on the floor of Parliament as also permitting import of gold by 'Start Trading Houses/Trading Houses' under the scheme as measures taken by the to 'institutionalise the bullion trade'.

The party further questioned and Sitharaman's silence on the issue.

It also said that on August 21, 2014, the also justified the scheme as a correct measure.

"and Prasad have been peddling white lies and deliberate falsehood in their sinister game to befool the people on '80:20 Gold Import Scheme'.

"They are diverting attention from their tacit complicity in the fleece and fly scheme of and The truth is benefactors of gold importers are crying thief to cover up their misdeeds," said

The party said "as gold imports were controlled and it was affecting the profitability of the likes of and Mehul Choksi, suddenly ordered withdrawal of all restrictions on import of gold on November 28, 2014".

"Interestingly, this was a direction was given by the Modi government and not a decision taken by RBI," said

The BJP had accused former of aiding jewellers and -- main accused in a -- through 80:20 gold import scheme.

Prasad said that Chidambaram gave his "blessings and benefits under the 80:20 scheme" to seven private jewellers on May 16, 2014, the day the results of Lok Sabha polls were announced.

Surjewala said: "As Modi government lifted all restrictions on gold import on November 28, 2014, turnover and profit of Mehul Choksi's companies dramatically increased by over 200 per cent.

"Jewellery exports increased from Rs 1,019 crore (2013-14) to Rs 2,454 crore (2014-15) and domestic jewelry sales also increased from Rs 1,685 crore (2013-14) to Rs 2,073 (2014-15)."

The leader said: "His (Choksi's) companies went up from a loss of Rs 22.65 crore (2013-14) to a profit of Rs 18.86 crore (2014-15) i.e over 200 per cent. None less than the fraudster Mehul Choksi, admitted the slowdown to 'Gold Import Scheme' in the annual report 2013-14 and 2014-15."

Surjewala asked: "Didn't the 'Gold Import Scheme 80:20' check the unregulated gold imports, save precious foreign exchange and institutionalise the bullion trade? Did it not lead of reduction of (Current Account Deficit) from 4.8 per cent in 2012-13 to 1.7 per cent in 2013-14?"

He also asked "did the abolishing of the gold import scheme not lead to free and unchecked import of gold by the likes of Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi"?

He said that if the scheme is a scam, as professed by Prasad, will he ask the to register an FIR against Sitharaman and then for justifying it.

--IANS

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(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, March 08 2018. 21:44 IST
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