Saturday, January 25, 2014

Good news on cards: Commerce ministry may slash gold import duty 
India's Commerce Minister Mr.Anand Sharma 
New Delhi, Jan 24, 2014: Government might soon slash import duty levied on gold. Other than this it might also regulate import and export norms regarding the yellow metal. Sonia Gandhi in her letter to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry has requested government to consider the two matters.

Sonia Gandhi wrote to Ministry of Commerce and Industry; however, Finance Minister says not step will be taken in a hurry. P Chidambaram has said that any decision over the matter can be taken only once current account deficit (CAD) is contained as targeted.

Government had raised import duty to whooping 10% in an attempt to restrain bourgeoning twin deficits. Also, to curb excessive gold imports leading to dollar outflow, merchants are required to re-export 20% of bullion imported before fresh import order is placed (80:20 scheme).

The letter is drafted following a petition sent to the UPA chairperson by All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation that demands lowered import duty. Now that CAD is declining, relaxation in some of austerity measures is expected.

Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation has stipulated four demands

1. The 80:20 scheme shall be lifted
2. Gold import duty shall be reduced by 2%
3. Rescind gold restrictions
4. Restrict banks to import 80% of FY’13 imports in FY’14

The demands have come owing to rising smuggling in the industry due to stringent policies leading to gold crisis in the country.

However, P Chidambaram who is in Davos attending 2014 Annual Meeting of World Economic Forum said, ‘Until we have a firm grip on the CAD, I do not contemplate any roll back in any measure. We will have a full idea of the CAD only when the budget is presented and when the year comes to an end’.

Courtesy: Daily Bhaskar