They have received representations for the reduction of customs duties on gold: Sitharaman

New Delhi, July 1 () Certain statements of traders have been received for the reduction of the customs tariff on gold, Parliament was informed on Monday.

Yes sir. Certain representations have been received for the reduction of basic customs duties on gold. In the past, the Ministry of Commerce had recommended the reduction of import duties on gold. These representations are examined as part of the budget exercise, said Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman. in a written response to the Lok Sabha.

She answered this in a question about whether the government has received any representation from gold traders requesting the reduction of import duties on gold.

Currently, the import of the yellow metal attracts 10 percent of taxes.

The country's gold imports fell approximately 3 percent in value terms to USD 32.8 billion during 2018-19, which is expected to maintain a limit on the current account deficit.

Total imports of precious metals in 2017-18 remained at USD 33.7 billion against USD 27.5 billion in 2016-17 and USD 31.8 billion in 2015-16.

According to the data provided by the minister, in terms of volume, India imported 982 tons of the yellow metal in the previous fiscal year.

Imports in 2017-18, 2016-17 and 2015-16 were 955 tonnes, 778 tonnes and 968 tonnes, respectively.

India is one of the largest gold importers in the world, and imports mainly meet the demand of the jewelery sector.

Exports of gems and jewelry decreased by 5.32% to USD 30.96 billion in 2018-19.

The deficit of the current account (CAD) of the country, or the difference between the exit and the entrance of currencies in the current account, increased to USD 57.2 billion or 2.1 percent of the gross domestic product in 2018-19, in compared to 1.8 percent the previous year. The national jewelery sector always demands a cut in the duty and relaxation of other import regulations to increase the availability of the yellow metal to boost jewelery exports. RR HRS

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