by Lawrence Williams, MineWeb.com
India’s restrictive gold and silver import duties were imposed by the previous government to try and help control the country’s current account deficit, with annual gold imports in particular contributing so strongly to the deficit. The gold sector had hoped that the new Modi Government, which was seen as more attuned to gold, would abolish, or at least reduce, the duties and restrictions on imported metal, but while there has been some relatively minor easing in the restriction element, the duties have remained and may yet stay for some time unless other exports can be built up to reduce the deficits. As far as official figures go the gold import restrictions have been a usefully effective measure with the volume and value of gold imports falling sharply. While some of this may have been countered by a big increase in smuggled gold, this doesn’t appear in official figures so can be ignored statistics-wise by the administration.
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