New Delhi: Repeatedly attacked by the Congress over a host of banking frauds, the BJP on Monday hit back, training its guns at the earlier Congress-led UPA government and former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for 'derailing' the banking system.
"Under the so called economist, then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the entire banking system went haywire due to all kinds of interference with it," senior BJP leader and Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said.
Seeking to blunt the Congress attack over the multi-crore Punjab National Bank fraud involving celebrity designer Nirav Modi and his partner Mehul Choksi, Prasad sought answers from former Finance Minister P Chidambaram and Congress Chief Rahul Gandhi.
"On May 16, 2014, the day UPA government lost the General Elections, Finance Minister P Chidambaram cleared 80:20 benefit to seven companies. One of them was Gitanjali (Mehul Choksi's company). Will Rahul Gandhi and P Chidambaram tell the nation if it wasn't blatant favouritism, mala fide intent and rampant corruption?" alleged Prasad.
The 80:20 scheme was launched by the UPA in August 2013, when the government was trying to curb gold imports to tackle the current account deficit. According to the scheme, private traders were allowed to export 30 per cent of the imported gold and retain the rest for domestic use. The scheme was scrapped by the NDA government in November 2014.
"The Congress must answer who were those people who were lobbying on behalf of Gitanjali and related companies. And how much cut were they taking? Rahul Gandhi must answer after he returns from Italy," Prasad said.