Nirav Modi, Choksi reaped 200% profit after NDA scrapped 80:20 gold import scheme: Congress

Nirav Modi, Choksi reaped 200% profit after NDA scrapped 80:20 gold import scheme: Congress

Diamond merchants Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi made "windfall" gains after the Modi government scrapped the 80:20 gold import scheme introduced by the UPA, the Congress claimed on Thursday.

Congress spokesperson Randeep Singh Surjewala also rubbished the allegations made by Law Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad that the UPA was trying to help private entities by introducing the gold import scheme.

"If gold import scheme 80:20 is a scam as professed by Ravi Shankar Prasad, will he ask the prime minister to register an FIR against the then commerce minister Nirmala Sitharaman for justifying and validating the 'Gold Import Scheme' both inside and outside Parliament," Surjewala asked.

He flashed copies of a Parliament question replied by Nirmala Sitharaman defending the 80:20 gold import scheme that has been at the centre of the controversial deals by Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi.

The Congress hit back at the Modi government saying that its decision to scrap the scheme brought windfall profits to Choksi and Nirav Modi.

"After the restrictions were lifted, Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, who had incurred losses during the time the 80:20 scheme was in existence, made huge profits," Surjewala said.

According to the Congress, the companies of Nirav Modi and Choksi went up from a loss of Rs 22.65 crore in 2013-14 to a profit of Rs 18.86 crore in 2014-15, which is over 200%.

Surjewala said the scheme was brought in August 2013 to correct the macroeconomic picture as the account deficit had shot up to 4.8% due to unfettered gold imports.

Under the 80:20 scheme, import of gold was prohibited, and only four banks and two state agencies - MMTC and STC - were authorised to import gold, with the condition that 80% of it would be for domestic consumption, and 20% would have to be compulsorily exported after value addition.

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