was trading at around 61 to a dollar.
India hikes gold, silver import duty to 10 pct
(Reuters) Import duty has been hiked on refined gold bars for a third time in eight months to 10 percent from the earlier 8 percent, the finance ministry said in a statement on Tuesday.
The government also raised the import duty on silver to 10 percent from the earlier 6 percent, and the factory gate duty on gold bars to 9 percent from 7 percent.
At the current level of imports, the government expects a revenue of 48.30 billion rupees from the duty hikes for the rest of the financial year ending March 31, 2014.
India, the world's biggest buyer of gold, has been trying to curb gold imports which is the second biggest imported item after crude oil.
On July 22, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) required a fifth of all gold imports to be used for export, usually in the form of jewellery.
In a written reply to a question in Rajya Sabha today, Minister of State for Finance J D Seelam said there has been apprehension that a duty hike could lead to an increase in smuggling of gold or gold jewellery.
He said customs and other formulations have been alerted to keep a vigil against smuggling. During April-July, the total quantity of 294 kgs of gold valued at Rs 75 crore have been seized by customs department.
Giving details of gold smuggling cases detected by customs department, Seelam said in 2012-13 there were 879 cases involving gold value of Rs 104 crore. In 2011-12, 506 cases were detected and value of goods seized was Rs 49 crore.