Economy

Import curbs on gold unlikely to be eased soon

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on November 25, 2017 Published on August 21, 2014

Finance Secretary Arvind Mayaram

No need to relook 80:20 scheme, says Mayaram



The Finance Ministry has ruled out easing restrictions on gold imports any time soon. The bullion industry has been seeking lowering of import duty and a relook into the 80:20 gold import scheme.

“Perhaps at some point when we are more comfortable and start earning more from other exports, maybe we can import more gold,” Finance Secretary Arvind Mayaram said in response to a suggestion regarding easing of curbs. The suggestion was made during an industry-Government meeting organised by industry chamber Assocham on Thursday.

Mayaram also said that the 80:20 scheme had worked very well till now and there was no need for a relook at this point of time. In order to control the current account deficit (CAD), the previous UPA Government had raised import duty on gold to 10 per cent last year, while the Reserve Bank of India had stipulated that 20 per cent of gold imports must be exported. The permission to import the next lot was conditional on the fulfilment of the export obligation. Mayaram’s statement came on a day when participants in a gold summit blamed the curbs for rise in smuggling, threat to jobs and revenue loss to the Government.

SK Jindal, Chairman of the Investment & Investor’s Protection Committee of Assocham, said two million jobs were at stake. The Union and State Governments, too, stand to lose ₹15,000 crore because of smuggling, he added.

Balram Garg, Managing Director of PC Jewellers, said due to higher duty, around 21 per cent of working capital was blocked as gold importing banks insisted on depositing the levies before delivering gold.

Published on August 21, 2014
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