Comm Ministry preparing note on FDI in rail, realty

Gold import policy to be revisited

Comm Ministry preparing note on FDI in rail, realty

Union Commerce Minister Anand Sharma on Friday said his ministry is in the process of preparing a Cabinet note on Foreign Direct Investment norms for railways and Construction.

Sharma also said the Government is mulling to revisit the gold import norms keeping in view of the demand and supply.

"We are discussing. Finance Minster, Myself and Urban Development minister will be sitting together. My ministry has moved the cabinet note we will take an early view on that," Sharma told reporters on the sidelines of a programme here.

The commerce ministry earlier hinted in favour of relaxing norms for FDI in railways and constructions sectors.

Last year, the government has relaxed foreign direct investment (FDI) norms in several sectors such as telecom, defence, PSU oil refineries, commodity bourses, power exchanges and stock exchanges.

Sharma said the FDI into the country is expected to touch over $220 billion during the UPA-II regime.

Replying to a query, he said the government is mulling to revisit gold import norms, but did not specify any timeframe.

He said the current polity of 80:20 policy is bit on higher side.

“We will revisit the situation. Because we thought that it was on higher side....As and when the situation demands, I will discuss with Finance Minister. I feel that there has to be balance.“The demands of the industry to be met and at the same time we should not bring in controls in excessive manner which leads to other means that is smuggling," Sharma said.

Gold imports into India, the world's biggest buyer of the metal, virtually stopped after a July 22, 2013 RBI circular which tied domestic consumption to exports. 

The new rule stipulates that 20 per cent of imports must be turned around for exports, most of which are in the form of jewellery.

The country imported 354 tonnes of gold in April- September 2013, of which 118 tonnes came in April, 162 tonnes in May, 31 tonnes in June, 41 tonnes in July, 2 tonnes in August and nil in September, All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) chairman Haresh Soni had earlier said.

Sharma, however said that there is no dearth of gold in the country and public sector undertakings have ensured that enough metal is available to the industry.

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