Govt weighing impact of gold curbs easing

The government is keeping a close watch on the runaway rise in gold imports and will take required steps in the policy, under which the import of the yellow metal was liberalised recently, Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher said on Tuesday.

India ’s gold imports jumped 38 per cent in November, pushing the country’s trade deficit to an 18-month high.

“Gold imports have risen six times. Only a few days ago, we had come up with a revision of the policy. The government would like to wait and watch, and then take steps, if required,” the Commerce Secretary said, after inaugurating the India Engineering Sourcing Show (IESS) in Mumbai.

“Trade deficit is a concern. Gold imports phenomenally have risen six times. Definitely, it is a concern but only a few days ago, we came up with a revision of our gold import policy. I am sure that the government would like to watch the consequences of that.

So we will wait and take a call at an appropriate time. We will have to wait and see how the next month follows,” Kher said.

He said that while a big rise in gold imports is a matter of concern, the situation also to be seen is in the context of whether this increase could result in improvement of India’s exports of gems and jewellery. Kher was asked about the government’s stand on the 80:20 scheme, which had been liberalised late last month after a strong demand from the exporters and the domestic jewellery industry.

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