BJP to oppose govt move to take over gold from temples: Swamy

The BJP will oppose government’s reported move to take into possession the gold belonging to some temples in a bid to mitigate the crisis caused by the yellow metal, Subramanian Swamy, former union minister and BJP leader said here Saturday.

Recently, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said that the current account deficit is mainly on account of huge imports of gold, coal and higher cost of crude oil. Recently, RBI has also imposed certain curbs to discourage gold imports. All these measures were aimed at strengthening the rupee against the dollar.

“Government should not take gold from temples. These (acts) are anti-national. We will all oppose it. We will challenge it in the court. They already tried to gold-coat the Tirupati temple, but courts have stopped it,” Swamy told reporters on the sidelines of a meeting here.

Referring to media reports that RBI is discussing with banks on how to convince temple trusts to deposit their hoard of idle jewellery that could be converted into bullion, Swamy said if the government is serious about solving the foreign exchange crisis, it should ask the people at the helm of affairs to return the deposits they made in foreign banks.

Earlier, delivering a lecture on “Declining Rupee value-UPA Government Failure,” Swamy suggested that RBI should take initiative to sell at least $20 billion of its foreign reserves to tame dollar.

“They should do it in one blow so that it comes down to Rs 50 (per dollar) in which ways all these profiteers will lose their wealth,” Swamy opined. Currently the dollar is trading at Rs 65.70.

Swamy also suggested that the government should abolish P-Notes that are said to be root cause for the forex crisis. P-Notes or participatory notes are the instruments used by investors or hedge funds that are not registered with the Securities and Exchange Board of India (Sebi) to invest in Indian securities.

The BJP leader said these notes are one of the reasons for rupee fall and hence the government should discourage them.

Describing the UPA government as “failure” in handling the financial crisis, Swamy opined that large-scale corruption has contributed to rupee fall.

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