Gold imports surge to $2.03 billion in August

After registering decline, gold imports surged to $2.03 billion August from $738.7 million in the same month last year. However, in July, gold imports declined by 26.39 per cent to $1.81 billion. Last time in June, the imports were up after declining for continous seven months.
The high imports have marginally pushed up the country’s trade deficit to $10.83 billion in the month under review. The government had imposed restrictions on inbound shipments of the precious metal to narrow the Current Account Deficit. India’s CAD, which is the excess of foreign exchange outflows over inflows, touched a historic high of 4.8 per cent of GDP in 2012-13, mainly due to rising imports of petroleum products and gold. However, it narrowed sharply to 1.7 per cent of GDP in the April-June quarter of this fiscal due to decline in gold imports.
The government had increased customs duty on gold to 10 per cent and banned import of gold coins and medallions, while the RBI linked imports of the metal to exports. India is the largest importer of gold, which is mainly utilised to meet the demand of the jewellery industry. The Commerce and Industry Ministry is pitching for easing of the gold import restrictions to boost gems and jewellery exports, which declined by 10.31 per cent in August to $3.23 billion.

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