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Gold imports jump over 2-fold to $11.25 billion in Q1

LiveMint logoLiveMint 21-07-2017 PTI

New Delhi: The country’s gold imports more than doubled to $11.25 billion during the first quarter of this fiscal, driven by seasonal and festival demand.

Gold imports stood at $4.90 billion in April-June 2016-17, according to the data of the commerce ministry. The increase in the imports influences India’s current account deficit (CAD).

In June this year, the imports of the precious metal had risen to $2.45 billion from $1.20 billion in the same month the previous year. The surge in gold imports in June contributed to the widening of trade deficit to $12.96 billion as against $8.11 in June 2016.

Silver imports in June, however, dipped by 28.6% to $178 million.

India is the world’s second biggest gold consumer after China. The imports mainly take care of demand by the jewellery industry.

At present, gold import attracts 10% duty. The gems and jewellery industry along with the commerce ministry have time and again urged the finance ministry to consider a cut in the import duty.

During April to December period of last fiscal ended 31 March, the current account deficit halved to 0.7%, from 1.4% a year ago. The surge in gold imports in June is on account of low base effect.

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