Gold jewelry
Gold jewelry
Photo Credit: Pexels

New Delhi: Gold imports, which have a bearing on the country's current account deficit (CAD), fell 8.86% to USD 27 billion (about Rs 1.90 lakh crore) during April-February period of the current financial year, according to commerce ministry data.

Imports of the yellow metal stood at USD 29.62 billion in the corresponding period of 2018-19.

The decline in gold imports has helped in narrowing the country's trade deficit to USD 143.12 billion during April-February period of the current fiscal, as against USD 173 billion a year ago.

Gold imports have been recording negative growth since December last year.

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% from 10%.

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

Gems and jewellery exporters had asked for reduction in import duty to 4%.

Gems and jewellery exports declined 8.25% to USD 33.78 billion in April-February this fiscal.

The country's gold imports dipped by 3% in value terms to USD 32.8 billion in 2018-19.

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