Zee Media Bureau
Ahmedabad: BJP’s Prime Ministerial candidate and Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday addressed the first India International Bullion Summit via videoconferencing.
The summit, being held as part of 65th Foundation Day of the Bombay Bullion Association (BBA), was organised in Mumbai.
Addressing the summit, Modi underlined the significance of gold for a common man as it gives a sense of security and respect.
"In our society, gold is connected with security, respect and a friend in need during hours of crisis. It is also related to the well-being of our daughters through exchange of the matter during marriage times," he said.
"After a doctor, the goldsmith is the most trusted man in the family."
Pledging to make India sone ki chidiya (The Golden Bird) once again, Modi advocated raising the voice of poor goldsmiths and called for fight against smuggling.
Hitting out at the Centre, Modi said the UPA government is making illogical excuses for Rupee fall and price rise. "Our exports must rise, imports can be curbed, but first we need to identify the right sphere and the Centre must do that."
Mocking the UPA government, the Gujarat CM said it is difficult to understand its functioning. "A few days ago, it decided to shut down petrol pumps in night to resolve import problem to revive the falling rupee. I don`t understand how it is possible?"
"Some said people have changed their food habits, while the southern people are consuming more wheat, the northern people are having more rice, hence causing the price rise. Do they don`t want to know the actual reasons?," he asked.
Nation is awaiting a golden future but those associated with gold seem worried, Modi said, adding that goldsmiths lost steam while anti-social elements rose.
On Gold Control Act, Modi said it is debatable how successful it was to preserve gold, but it seriously hit two generations of goldsmiths. "They shifted to some other profession and the skill which was honed over ages was lost," he said.
Underlining that gold smuggling zoomed during the time of the Gold Control Act, Modi said: "Be it Goa, Kochi, Ahmedabad, Chennai, Delhi, there are a lot of people being caught with gold at airports."
"If narcotics, arms, fake currency and easily marketable gold are being smuggled into the country, then we can understand the danger the country is facing," Modi said.
He also advocated the promotion of hand-made jewellery in world market.
"Just like machine-made goods, hand-made jewellery also has a big demand in the world market. We have the skills. But does the government think about this?", Modi asked.