The statistics released by the Indian Customs Department at the Sardar Vallabhabhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad indicates that gold jewelry continued to be the top revenue earner during FY ’15. Gold jewelry along with liquor, electronic goods, silver jewelry and cigarettes has accounted for over 70% of the duty collected by the department at the airport. The airport collected Rs 7.08 crores as duty during 2014-’15.
The department has collected nearly Rs 15.5 crore in revenue on imported items such as gold, silver, television and other electronic goods. The collections have surged over 70% when matched with those during 2010-’12. The collection during 2014-’15 fell by Rs 1.34 crores when compared with the Rs 8.42 crores collected during 2013-’14. The drop in revenue is mainly attributed to the government’s decision to impose 36% duty on flat screen LCDs.
According to existing Customs rules, a man is allowed to bring Rs.50, 000 worth gold on his return to the country after staying abroad for an year. At the same time, a woman is allowed to bring Rs.1, 00,000 worth gold. Such passengers are not required to pay duty on gold. However, one cannot bring gold or silver in the form of bricks or sticks. A resident who stays abroad for six months can bring gold up to 1 kilogram after paying customs duty of 10.3%. Any quantity exceeding 1 kilogram attracts duty of 36.05%.
Despite prevailing high duty structure on gold imports, it contributed significantly to revenue in 2014-’15. The Indian government had raised the import duty on gold from 2% to 10% in 2013. But people prefer to bring in quality goldjewelry from foreign countries, especially from the Middle East countries. The availability of gold at a cheaper rate in outside countries makes it profitable for the buyer even after paying hefty duties at airport.