The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) sponsored by the Indian Ministry of Commerce and Industry published provisional figures of gems and jewellery items for the month of December 2018. The data indicates significant decline in monthly imports of gold bar by the country. However, the combined gold bar imports during April to December 2018 were still higher when matched with the corresponding nine-month period in 2017.India’s gold bar imports in Dec ’18 totaled Rs 3,243.02 crores (USD 458.51 Million). In rupee terms, the gold bar imports have declined sharply by over 13% from the previous year. The decline in dollar terms stood at 21.24%, said GJEPC data. It must be noted that the country’s gold bar imports during December 2017 were valued at Rs 3,739.92 crores (USD 582.18 Million).The cumulative gold bar imports by the country during the first nine months (Apr ’18 to Dec ’18) of the current fiscal year continued to remain higher over the prior year. The imports totaled Rs 41,410.53 crores (USD 5,969.96 Million) during this period. This is higher by 63.54% and 52.11% over the previous year in rupee and dollar terms respectively. The imports had totaled only Rs 25,320.61 crores (USD 3,924.65 Million) in April-December 2017.Meantime, silver bar imports registered 14% year-on-year decline in December 2018. The combined imports during Apr-Dec ’18 were also down sharply by more than 32%.