The Phaserl


Ease up on gold

from Silver Phoenix 500:

With Indian savers losing their appetite for the yellow metal, it’s time to relax gold import curbs in calibrated doses.

Finally, Indian policymakers seem to be taking baby steps towards easing the draconian curbs on gold imports put in place last year. The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) recently allowed private jewellery exporters to import gold under the 80:20 rule, a prerogative of banks. It has also permitted jewellers to buy gold on credit as against the cash-and-carry system mandated before. These concessions, though small, are welcome, as they will go towards restoring a semblance of normalcy in the Indian jewellery trade and bring down costs for domestic consumers. They seem to have been prompted by the vastly improved balance of payments situation and strong capital flows after the recent election verdict. But the time has come for greater boldness and more substantive measures to free up gold import restrictions, even if in calibrated doses.

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