Gold imports during the 2013-2014 period for India were about 638 tonnes, declined by 25% when compared to the previous fiscal year. The gold imports during 2012-2013 were about 845 tonnes and that of 2011-2012 was 919 tonnes, said Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Finance.
The net gold import between April and June of present fiscal stood at 221 tonnes, valued about Rs 54,792 crore. The value of gold import during 2011-12 was about Rs 2.28 lakh crore and Rs 2.45 lakh crore in 2012-2013. During 2013-2014, the gold import valued at Rs 1.60 lakh crore.
Nirmala said the number of gold smuggling cases reported during 2013-2014 was 2,441, increased from 869 and 500 in 2012-2013 and 2011-2012 respectively. By seeing a sudden surge in imports in 2013, the government had increased the gold import duty to 10% in phases. There are no plans to curb the gold import duties, said Sitharaman.
The Reserve Bank of India and the government have also imposed other import restrictions which include the imports to exports linking to stop foreign exchange outgo, adding to instances of gold smuggling. CBEC (Central Board of Excise and Customs) and other intelligence agencies like DRI are also maintaining a close watch on gold smuggling, Sitharaman added.
India's Current Account Deficit (CAD) has surged to $88.2 billion, or 4.7% of GDP in 2012-2013 due to high gold imports. By curbing the imports, the CAD has slumped down to USD 32.4 million of 1.7 % of GDP in 2013-2014.