Gold import duty hike fear made India buy 15% more in January
On January 21, the government had raised import duty on gold and platinum to 6 per cent from 4 per cent with immediate effect in order to curb imports of the precious metals so as to check the widening current account deficit.
However, Finance Minister P Chidambaram had indicated measures to curb gold import at the beginning of the month.
"Gold imports are likely to be higher this month. On January 2, the Finance Minister had said the government will take measures to bring down imports. This led traders to buy more gold before the duty was announced," All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation Chairman Bachhraj Bamalwa said.
Asked about the quantity of gold import in the current
month, he said, "Imports will be around 75 tonne as compared with 65 tonne in January 2012."
After the hike, Bamalwa noted that quantity of gold imports have been very less. But the shipments would improve in the next month because of 'wedding season', he added.
In 2012, India's gold imports are estimated to have declined to 750 tonnes from 969 tonnes in the previous year, Bamalwa said, adding that the figures are yet to be finalised.
On gold prices, he said: "Domestic rates have increased after the import duty hike. The increase has not been felt due to rupee appreciation and a decline in international price
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