Gold imports surge to USD 4.17 billion in Oct

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New Delhi | Published: November 17, 2014 6:09:50 PM

Gold imports surged by nearly four-fold to USD 4.17 billion in October...

Gold imports stood at USD 1.09 billion in the same month last year. ReutersGold imports stood at USD 1.09 billion in the same month last year. Reuters

Gold imports surged by nearly four-fold to USD 4.17 billion in October to meet the festival season demand.

Gold imports stood at USD 1.09 billion in the same month last year.

The high imports have pushed up the country’s trade deficit to USD 13.35 billion as against USD 10.59 billion in October 2013.

India’s CAD, which is the excess of foreign exchange outflows over inflows, touched a historic high of 4.8 per cent of GDP in 2012-13, mainly due to rising imports of petroleum products and gold.

However, it narrowed sharply to 1.7 per cent of GDP in the April-June quarter of this fiscal due to decline in gold imports.

Gold imports were down for quite a long time after the government had imposed restrictions on inbound shipments of the precious metal to narrow the current account deficit.

According to industry experts, the gold imports surged in October on account of increase in festive season demand.

The previous government had increased customs duty on gold to 10 per cent and banned import of gold coins and medallions, while the RBI linked imports of the metal to exports.

India is the largest importer of gold, which is mainly utilised to meet the demand of the jewellery industry.

The Commerce and Industry Ministry is pitching for easing of the gold import restrictions to boost gems and jewellery exports.

In September, the imports increased to USD 3.75 billion.

On account of increasing gold imports, government is mulling further tightening of gold import norms.

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