More steps to curb gold imports 'if necessary'

More steps to curb gold imports 'if necessary'

In the wake of exorbitant gold imports last month, the government on Monday said it will take more steps to curb the inbound shipment of yellow metal if necessary.

The steps may come in addition to the one taken by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) a few days ago, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said.

“The RBI has instructed banks they should not import gold or offer yellow metal except for jewellers to export. If necessary, more steps will be taken to curb imports,” the Finance Minister said on the sidelines of Competition Commission of India’s Annual Day celebration.

India’s gold and silver imports rose 138 per cent in April this year. A higher-than-expected import of these metals resulted in the country’s trade deficit soaring to $17.8 billion in April, a 72 per cent rise over March. Chidambaram said he was not surprised by the whopping April gold imports as people may have resorted to more purchases because of wedding season and festivals like Akshaya Tritiya. He, however, appealed to people to contain their passion for gold and help reduce imports.

To a question on rating agency Standard & Poor’s affirming its ‘triple B minus’ long-term credit ratings on India, the minister said that India deserved a rating and outlook upgrade, adding that the country’s macro-economic conditions have improved from what they were in August 2012.

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