India considers easing gold import restrictions

Section:

By Manoj Kumar
Reuters
Monday, January 6, 2014

NEW DELHI -- Indian officials are in discussions to cut a record high import duty on gold and relax rules on exports, government sources said, after the measures helped narrow the country's trade deficit and now threaten to encourage smuggling.

India imposed the curbs last year when overseas gold purchases -- the country's second most expensive import after oil -- pushed its current account deficit to a record and undermined the rupee currency.

With three duty hikes last year to a record 10 percent and onerous restrictions tying purchases to exports, official arrivals shrank almost 90 percent in the six months to November, helping China displace India as the world's top gold buyer.

The decision to cut the import duty is likely to be taken any time this month, said one of the government sources, who has direct knowledge of the deliberations but did not want to be named because of the sensitivity of the issue.

... For the complete story:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/01/06/india-gold-idUSL3N0KG1CI201401...



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