Chidambaram's 80:20 gold scheme aided Mehul Choksi: Ravi Shankar Prasad
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad on Wednesday launched a scathing attack on the Congress party and former finance minister P Chidambaram for allegedly opening all doors for the favourable companies in Gold Scheme.
"The UPA government, during P Chidambaram's tenure, opened all doors for favourable companies. The ones who were prohibited from participating in the 80:20 gold scheme were also brought into the fold," Prasad said while addressing the media.
"These trading houses were allowed to import gold up to 2,000 kg from any port of India. There was no control or verification. This is a downright racket," the Union Law Minister alleged.
"It is a textbook case of massive irregularity," the Union minister said.
"On 15 May 2014, P Chidambaram announced a new policy in which Star Trade Operators were attached to premium trading houses which included Gitanjali jewellers," Prasad added.
Prasad said that the model code of conduct clearly states that any favour, relief for anyone with respect to taxation cannot be done without the permission of the Election Commission.
"Did the then UPA govt ask the Election Commission about violation of any model code of conduct?: the Union Minister asked.
"Why was such a big step taken by the then UPA govt just one day before the general elections results?: he added.
In August 2013, the UPA government had introduced the 80:20 rule, which provisioned traders to import gold, but only after they had exported 20 percent of gold from their previous import.
The rule was scrapped in November 2014 after the NDA came to power.