India’s gold imports fall 24% in Apr-Feb 2016-17
The Dollar Business Bureau
The Indian gold imports witnessed a decline of about 24% and stood at $23.22 billion in the period April-February of 2016-17, which is likely to keep in control the current account deficit (CAD).
In the corresponding period of fiscal 2015-16, total imports of the yellow metal were $30.71 billion.
As per industry experts, easing of gold prices in the domestic as well as global markets can be the reason for contraction in imports.
The shrinking of imports helped in decreasing the trade deficit, which stood at $95.2 billion during the April-February period of 2016-17 compared to $114.3 billion in the corresponding period of previous fiscal.
However, gold imports on month-on-month basis, surged to $3.48 billion in the month of February compared to $1.4 billion in the same month in 2016, as per the data released by the Ministry of Commerce.
India is one of the world’s largest importers of gold, and the imports primarily meet the demands of the jewellery industry.
For the entire fiscal of 2015-16, CAD was $22.1 billion, or 1.1% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), compared to $26.8 billion, or 1.3%, in the previous fiscal.
In terms of volume, the country imported 560.32 tonnes of the precious metal during the 10-month period of April-January of the last fiscal.
In the full fiscal of 2015-16, the aggregate of gold imports stood at 968.06 tonnes and in 2014-15, it was 915.47 tonnes.
Currently, there is a duty of 10% on the gold imports. The gems and jewellery sector and the Ministry of Commerce have time and again prodded the Ministry of Finance to consider a reduction in the import duty.