India Finance Minister: Limitations on Gold Imports to be Looked Over by March


New Delhi – The government is improbable to raise import restrictions on gold before the end of this economic year, finance minister P Chidambaram demonstrated on Monday when he said the taut curbs will be reconsidered only after March.

The investment minister’s declaration comes amid hectic lobbying by gold traders and jewelers for lowering of the trade obstacles and a roll back of the high trade obligation following dramatic improvement in the country’s current account deficit.

Commerce representatives had even in writing to the joined Progressive coalition chairperson Sonia Gandhi, prompting her to inquire the commerce ministry to look into their demand.

Chidambaram said addressing levy officials in Delhi on the occasion of culture Day “I am confident that by the end of this year we will be able to revisit some of the limits on gold trade, but we will do so only when we are wholeheartedly certain that we have a firm grab on the present account deficit,”

The government had enforced a sequence of curbs on gold imports in 2013, encompassing raising culture obligation to 10% from 2% in three tranches, to rein in the country’s ballooning current account shortfall, which touched an all-time high of 4.8% of GDP in 2012-13. Gold is the country’s second-biggest import.

The Reserve Bank of India furthermore imposed curbs on gold imports such as the 80:20 direct, which mandated trade goods of 20% of gold imported.

The constrains compelled imports down to 19.3 tonnes in November from 162 tonnes in May, but part of the trade moved to unofficial passages. Finance receptionist Sumit Bose said the imports were a little higher in December.