New Delhi : The government may take more steps to reduce gold imports such as banning sale of gold coins by banks, reports PTI.
“More steps will have to be taken to reduce gold imports. Export import policy on gold will have to be reviewed. May consider banning gold coin sale by banks,” Department of Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram said after a meeting of the sub- committee of Financial Stability and Development Council (FSDC), headed by RBI governor D Subbarao.
Finance Minister P Chidambaram said gold imports stood at 162 tonnes during May. The Committee also discussed, among other things, regulations of chit funds, Mayaram said.
Gold and silver imports during April 2013 jumped by 138 % to $7.5 billion against $3.1 billion in the year-ago period. Due to high gold imports, the country’s trade deficit in April widened to $17.8 billion year on year.
Higher trade deficit in turn puts pressure on Current Account Deficit (CAD), which has been described as the biggest risk to the Indian economy by the RBI.
The RBI last month imposed curbs on import of the yellow metal by banks. It also put restrictions on banks and NBFCs for providing loans against gold coins as well as units of gold ETFs.
The centre has also taken steps like hike in import duty to restrict gold imports. Gold imports into India, the world’s largest consumer of the metal, stood at around 830 tonne in 2012-13.