Gold imports fell by 76 % to 60 tonnes in the April to July period this financial year. According to the MMTC-PAMP, the dip is attributed to the high import duty of 10 % and other taxes.
MMTC-PAMP is a known precious metals refining and fabricating company. The company said, last year, the country imported 250 tonnes of the yellow metal during these four months.
The firm also hinted at a growing smuggling business. They stated that around 80 tonnes of the yellow metal, i.e. gold, is imported in the country through unofficial and unauthorized channels during the same period.
“Unless and until customs duty is reduced to 3-4 %, this trend will continue. People are bound to smuggle precious metals for their own benefit,” said Managing Director Rajesh Khosla on the sidelines of a three-day India International Gold Convention.
As the world’s second largest gold consumer after China, India imported 650 tonnes in 2015-16. Khosla further said that gold imports by MMTC-PAMP itself have fallen to 5 tonnes during the period compared to 50 tonnes last year.
Finding it difficult to sell at such a discounted rate, Khosla added that the company may import a maximum of 10 tonnes this year as against 120 tonnes a year ago.
However, reduced gold imports help keep current account deficit under control-- a good news for the government, he said.