Increase in gold smuggling due to hike in import duty

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NEW DELHI: The Finance Ministry has said incidence of gold smuggling has increased due to hike in import duty and fluctuation in global prices. “The increase in the cases of smuggling of gold may be partly attributed to the fluctuation of the prices of gold and Customs duty rates,” Minister of State for Finance J D Seelam said in a written reply to Lok Sabha. With an aim to discourage gold imports, one of the major reason for high current account deficit, the government has raised the customs duty to 10 per cent, while on jewellery it has been increased to 15 per cent. He informed that gold worth Rs 208.23 crore has been seized in seven months through October in the current fiscal. The seizure was 107.51 crore, 42.38 crore adn 17.22 crore in the previous three fiscal, respectively.
During April-October 2013-14 period, there were 664 cases of gold smuggling.
The Minister further said that the maximum amounts of seizures (in terms of number and value) have been reported from various international airports wherein the gold/gold jewellery was being attempted to be smuggled using the passengers as well as cargo and courier. “Mostly the source of the seized gold/gold jewellery had been UAE, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Nepal, Hong Kong, etc,” Seelam added.
Source:Bullion Bulletin

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