New Delhi, March 6: Gems and jewellery imports rose 8 per cent to Rs 15,161 crore in January on the back of increased shipments of rough diamonds.
However, the purchase of gold bars and jewellery continued to fall because of the curbs imposed by the government, according to the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).
The country imported Rs 14,026-crore worth of gems and jewellery in January 2013.
Rough diamond shipments rose 46 per cent to Rs 7,803.63 crore in January from Rs 5,358 crore in the year-ago period. Import of pearls jumped to Rs 469.28 crore from Rs 2.02 crore.
The import of gold bars fell 30 per cent to Rs 2,824.56 crore from Rs 4,037 crore in January 2013. Inward shipments of gold jewellery declined 24 per cent to Rs 461.20 crore and the import of coloured gemstones fell over 79 per cent to Rs 113.33 crore. The import of cut and polished diamonds dropped 2.23 per cent to Rs 3,179.63 crore.
During the first 10 months of the current fiscal, gold and silver imports stood at $29 billion against $46.7 billion in the year-ago period, a decline of 37 per cent, according to government trade data.
Gold imports may total 550 tonnes this fiscal and may remain below 600 tonnes in 2014-15 if the curbs stay, Haresh Soni, chairman of the All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation, said.
Gold consumption rose 13 per cent to 974.8 tonnes last year, while imports fell 4.1 per cent to 825 tonnes, according to the World Gold Council.