The Communist Party of India has sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s intervention in stalling sale of gold coins from post offices as “it is against the Finance Ministry’s directive to restrict the sale and import of gold.”
In a letter to Dr. Singh, party general secretary S. Sudhakar Reddy said “high gold imports and specifically the import of gold coins had surely led to a burden on our import bill.”
Referring to Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram’s statement on ban on import of gold coins and medallions, Mr. Reddy said in his letter: “Despite the ban, I am surprised to see that while the Finance Minister holds a specific view on import of gold coins, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology holds a divergent view on the same.”
The Department of Posts had floated a tender for “supply of gold coins on sale,” which concludes on November 27, Mr. Reddy said.
Quoting Mr. Chidambaram as also saying that “banks were told to strictly follow guidelines on gold imports,” Mr. Reddy said the decision of the Communications and Information Technology Ministry (to sell gold coins) went against the decision of the Finance Ministry.
“If banks selling gold coins are strictly being discouraged, how could post offices selling gold coins be encouraged?” he sought to know.
Import of gold coins and floating of tenders by the Postal Department “implies encouraging the import of gold coins once again.”
‘Why no uniform view ?’
“With a heavy import bill burden already on the economy, why is the government not having a uniform view regarding the sale of gold coins” Mr. Reddy asked.