The North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) has urged the union government to relax or waive off the custom duty on import of gold for the convenience of NRIs visiting their home countries.
In a statement, NAPA president and spokesperson Satnam Singh Chahal said air travellers arriving in the country were made to pay custom duty even for their wedding rings and mangalsutras due to hike in gold rates.
"We have asked the government to amend the existing custom duty rules, as per which a man can bring in Rs. 10,000-worth of gold and a woman can bring gold worth Rs. 20,000. As per the present value of the yellow metal, this equals to 3 gram and 6 gram, respectively. Besides, a wedding ring or mangalsutra is likely to weigh much more than this limit," he said.
"Passengers are being regularly stopped and asked either to pay the tax or keep the excess gold in the custody of airport customs and take it when going back," he further added.
"Relaxation of import duty is the need of the day because the law was made when the gold was priced at Rs. 40 per gram and now it has increased manifold," Chahal said, adding: "At that time, a male passenger could bring 250 gram of gold and a woman 500 gram without paying tax."