Curbs on gold
The central government has placed gold imports in certain forms that were earlier freely imported under a “restricted” category. This will stop importers from buying gold in alternative forms such as powder, plates and strips and also prevent any duty arbitrage on imports from countries with which India has trade agreements. According to a notification issued by the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), with the addition of these varieties, import of gold in any form has been placed in the “restricted” category.
“Import policy of gold in any form, other than monetary gold and silver, is amended from ‘free’ to ‘restricted’; import is allowed only through nominated agencies as notified by the RBI (in case of banks) and DGFT (for other agencies),” the directorate said. However, import under advance authorisation and supply of gold directly by the foreign buyers to exporters against orders has been exempted.
The restrictions come in the backdrop of rising imports of gold, which increased 6.59 per cent to $2.94 billion in November from $2.76 billion a year ago. However, the impact on jewellers is unlikely to be anything major.
“There are already restrictions on the import of gold. But, there were a few categories such as gold powder, sheets, plates and strips, which are normally not meant for jewellers, those were free. But that has now been put under the restricted category too,” a city based jeweller said.
There must be some people who were using this route to import gold The government in the last union budget increased the import duty on gold to 12.5 per cent.