Investigative agencies are probing 80:20 gold import scheme over 'illegal' benefits to private parties

Investigative agencies are reportedly probing the 80:20 gold import scheme following allegations that 'tweaks' to the programme illegally benefited some private parties.

Agencies have gathered fresh evidence that points to alleged irregularities, reported The Economic Times.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

Investigative agencies have exchanged “crucial” information that will be examined to determine if “benefits” that a few entities allegedly got were “systemic”, the newspaper added.

In April, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) questioned former Reserve Bank of India (RBI) deputy governor HR Khan in connection with the roughly Rs 14,000 crore Punjab National Bank (PNB) fraud involving diamantaire Nirav Modi and his uncle Mehul Choksi.

The official was also questioned in connection with alleged benefits to diamond merchant Choksi's group of companies following the 80:20 gold import scheme, introduced by former finance minister P Chidambaram.

In March, the NDA government said it will take action against people who relaxed gold import norms for private trading houses during the dying days of the UPA regime, resulting in a windfall of Rs 4,500 crore to 13 such entities in just six months.

Earlier in March, the ruling BJP had accused Chidambaram of aiding jewellers Nirav Modi and Choksi – the main accused in the country's biggest bank fraud case – through the 80:20 gold import scheme.

A CAG report published in 2016 found that the 80:20 scheme had resulted in a loss of Rs 1 lakh crore to the exchequer, reported the Financial Express.

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Updated Date: Aug 24, 2018 20:03:24 IST

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