New twist in Nirav Modi case leads to P Chidambaram

Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi, key accused in Rs. 11, 400 crore Punjab National Bank scam. (Photo: PTI) Courtesy: The Asian Age

In a dramatic twist in the ongoing PNB-Nirav Modi scam, it has now been revealed that the Indian Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA) had forewarned the Reserve Bank of India governor of the time, Raghuram Rajan, of an epic swindle as far back as July 26, 2014. 

Under the scanner is also then finance minister P. Chidambaram’s controversial decision on May 21, 2014, five days before the UPA government officially demitted office, to allow 13 traders — Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi groups — to import gold and sell it.

Mohit Kamboj, president of the IBJA at the time, said that “finance minister P. Chidambaram ostensibly brought the 20:80 gold policy to control the burgeoning current account deficit which had shot into the stratosphere due to rampant gold import… But, in reality, this was done to benefit a handful of cronies going under the nomenclature of Star Trading Houses and Premier Trading Houses (which included both Nirav Modi and Mehul Choksi groups) since scarce gold was sold at a mark up of approximately 10 to 15 per cent per kg. We made several representations not just to the RBI governor but also to finance ministry mandarins, including P. Chidambaram… It was only in July 2014, after the National Democratic Alliance government had come to power, that cognisance was taken.”