India Gold imports fall nine per cent to £13.69bn Dip in gold imports has helped in narrowing the country’s trade deficit to £73.53bn during April-October period of 2019-20 as against £90.17bn in the same period of previous fiscal (REUTERS/Sivaram V/File Photo).
Radhakrishna N S
INDIA’S gold imports, which have a bearing on the current account deficit (CAD), dipped nine per cent to £13.69 billion (about Rs 1.25 trillion) during April-October period of the current fiscal, according to country’s commerce ministry ‘s latest data.
Imports of the yellow metal stood at £15bn in the same period of 2018-19.
Dip in gold imports has helped in narrowing the country’s trade deficit to £73.53bn during April-October period of 2019-20 as against £90.17bn in the same period of previous fiscal.
Gold imports had been recording a negative growth since July this year. However, it grew by about five per cent to £1.43bn in October.
India is the largest importer of gold, which mainly caters to the demand of the jewellery industry.
In volume terms, the country imports 800-900 tonnes of gold annually.
To mitigate the negative impact of gold imports on trade deficit and CAD, the government increased the import duty on gold to 12.5 per cent from 10 per cent in this year’s Budget.
According to industry experts, businesses in the sector are shifting their manufacturing bases to neighbouring countries due to high duty.
The Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) had asked for a cut in import duty to four per cent.
Gems and jewellery exports declined by about two per cent to £14.21bn in April-October this fiscal.
The country’s gold imports dipped about three per cent in value terms to £25.46bn during 2018-19.