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Gold imports dip 7% in Apr-Nov to $20.57 bn

Source: PTI
January 02, 2020 17:00 IST

The decline in gold imports has helped in narrowing the country's trade deficit to $106.84 billion during the eight-month period under review as against $133.74 billion in the year-ago months.

India's gold imports, which have a bearing on the current account deficit (CAD), fell about 7 per cent to $20.57 billion during April-November period of the ongoing financial year, according to the commerce ministry data.

Imports of the yellow metal stood at $22.16 billion in the same period of 2018-19.

 

The decline in gold imports has helped in narrowing the country's trade deficit to $106.84 billion during the eight-month period under review as against $133.74 billion in the year-ago months.

Gold import had been recording a negative growth since July this year.

However, it grew about 5 per cent to $1.84 billion in October and 6.6 per cent to $2.94 billion in November.

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 the metal to 12.5 per cent from 10 per cent in this year's Budget.

Industry experts claim that businesses in the sector are shifting their manufacturing bases to neighbouring countries due to this high duty.

The Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has asked for a reduction in import duty to 4 per cent.

Gems and jewellery exports declined about 1.5 per cent to $20.5 billion in April-November this fiscal.

The country's gold imports dipped about 3 per cent in value terms to $32.8 billion in 2018-19.

The CAD narrowed to 0.9 per cent of GDP or $6.3 billion in July-September, 2019-20 from 2.9 per cent or $19 billion in same period last year, according to the RBI data.

Photograh: Leonhard Foeger/Reuters

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