Gold Imports Dip 8.86% To $27 Billion During April-February
Gold imports, which have a bearing on the country’s current account deficit, fell 8.86 percent to about Rs 1.90 lakh crore during the April-February period of the current financial year, according to commerce ministry data.
Imports of the yellow metal stood at $29.62 billion in the corresponding period of 2018-19.
The decline in gold imports has helped in narrowing the country's trade deficit to $143.12 billion during April-February period of the current fiscal, as against $173 billion a year ago.
Gold imports have been recording negative growth since December last year.
In volume terms, the country imports 800-900 tonnes of gold annually.
To mitigate the negative impact of gold imports on trade deficit and current account deficit, the government increased the import duty on the metal to 12.5 percent from 10 percent.
Industry experts claim that businesses in the sector are shifting their manufacturing bases to neighbouring countries due to the high duty.
Gems and jewellery exporters had asked for reduction in import duty to 4 percent.
Gems and jewellery exports declined 8.25 percent to $33.78 billion in April-February this fiscal.
The country's gold imports dipped by 3 percent in value terms to $32.8 billion in 2018-19.
The current account deficit, which is the difference between inflow and outflow of foreign exchange, narrowed to 0.9 percent of gross domestic product or $6.3 billion in July-September 2019, from 2.9 percent of GDP or $19 billion in the corresponding period last year, according to the Reserve Bank's data.