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Surging gold imports cause for concern: Official

Tue, Dec 16, 2014, 11:17 PM
Mumbai, Dec 16 : Import of a whopping 150 tonnes of gold in November even before curbs were lifted was a cause for concern as a 38 percent jump in a month resulted in widening of the trade deficit to an 18 month high, a senior official said Tuesday.

"Gold imports of 151.58 tonnes in November is a phenomenal rise of 38 percent from 109.55 tonnes in October and an incredible jump of 571 percent over the same month last year despite import restrictions still in place," Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher told reporters here.

The latest gold import data from the trade ministry disproved the belief that the yellow metal was losing its sheen.

The government Nov 28 scrapped the 80:20 scheme that was introduced in August 2013 to reduce the widening current account deficit then, as it made obligatory for importers to export 20 percent of all gold imports.

"We will examine the impact of revising the scheme. We will wait and take a call at an appropriate time," Kher said.

Gold imports in December are expected to be less than in November in the absence of weddings and festivals.

The government had also levied 10 percent import duty on gold last year to check surging inflows of the precious metal.
Agency: IANS

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