India Unlikely to Put Fresh Curbs on Gold Imports

goldNew Delhi: India is unlikely to put any fresh restrictions on gold imports, as the inward shipments have fallen sharply this month despite the recent easing of some curbs by RBI, reports Business Line.

In the first fortnight of December, gold imports have fallen to about 25 tonnes from 150 tonnes during entire November. In December 2013, gold imports stood at around 30 tonnes.

On November 28, RBI abolished the controversial ‘80:20’ gold import scheme, which was put in place in August last year to curb the high gold inflows as it was felt that rising imports of the precious metal were contributing significantly to the widening current account deficit.

Under the scheme, at least 20 per cent of the imported gold had to be mandatorily exported before bringing in new lots. This scheme was relaxed for certain entities earlier this year, but this led to concerns that undue benefits were accruing a select few.

While there have been demands from certain quarters to put some fresh restrictions on gold imports, the Government is of the view that the inbound shipments have come under control and the earlier prevalent anomalies have been addressed by scrapping of the 80:20 rule, sources said.

“The Government is unlikely to put in any fresh curbs on gold imports as of now,” a senior official said, while adding that the inbound shipments have declined significantly despite the scrapping of the 80:20 scheme.

It was also suggested recently that the entities that imported gold prior to the scrapping of the scheme should not be subject to the restrictive provisions.