HindustanTimes Fri,19 Sep 2014

Gold imports up 65% in June to $3.12 billion

None  New Delhi, July 16, 2014
First Published: 21:19 IST(16/7/2014) | Last Updated: 21:29 IST(16/7/2014)

After declining for seven months in a row, gold imports grew by 65.13% to $3.12 billion in June. Imports of gold in June 2013 were $1.88 billion.

The high imports have marginally pushed up the country's trade deficit to $11.76 billion in June from $11.28 billion in the same month last year.

In October 2013, gold imports had risen 62.5% to $1.3 billion. The government has imposed restrictions on inbound shipments of the precious metal to narrow the Current Account Deficit.

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

A high CAD puts pressure on the rupee, which in turn makes imports expensive and fuels inflation. The government had increased customs duty on gold to 10% 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, which declined by 5% in June to $3.31 billion.

According to experts, decline in gold prices in the global market have pushed up imports in the country. Gold in New York, which normally sets price trend on the domestic front, fell by 0.7% to $1,297.10 an ounce after touching $1,292.60, the lowest since June 19.

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