Timeline: Indian Government’s Efforts To Reduce Gold Imports

Timeline India's efforts to curb gold importsThe glittering yellow metal gold is a new business magnet becoming the second most secure investment second to the real estate business. It can’t be said that gold would be honoured to play role of international currency in the next few years since it might be possible too in certain conditions like fall of the dollar.

When it comes to gold buying, nobody can compete with Indians who love to remain hungry rather than avoiding purchasing gold. On the other hand, gold is the second largest import in India following oil & natural gas. While this increases the total worth of the country, it has dangerous side effects on national economy too.

India – the world’s top gold buyer country has to pay a hefty sum to import gold resulting in lack of foreign currency particularly spending dollars. Which is why, Indian government has been leaving no stone unturned to discourage the trend. Here are details of action taken by the Government of India.

January

21 January – the government raised gold import duty to 6 percent.

22 January – the government doubles duty on raw gold to 5 percent.

February

1 February – The Reserve Bank of India announced to introduce few gold-linked products in the coming months.

6 February – The Reserve Bank of India promised to consider imposing value and quantity restrictions on gold imports.

14 February – The RBI relaxed restrictions on gold deposit schemes to offer the products with shorter maturities.

20 February – Trade ministry suggested suspending cheaper gold jewellery import from Thailand.

28 February – Government declined requests to cut gold import duty in its annual national budget. However it proposed a transaction tax of 0.01 percent on non-agricultural futures contracts for precious metals adding silver, gold and platinum.

March

1 March – P. Chidambaram, Finance Minister of India urged people not to buy gold.

18 March – The RBI announced policies to ensure a proper channelization system for banks selling gold coins and wealth management

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products to close all possible loopholes.

April

2 April – P. Chidambaram recommended to raise the import tax on the yellow metal to escape gold smuggling.

May

3 May – The Reserve Bank of India prohibited the gold import on a consignment basis by financial institutions.

June

3 June – P. Chidambaram, Finance Minister, Government of India ensured importers to review government’s import policy.

5 June – Gold import duty hiked by 6 percent to 8 percent.

21 June – Reliance Capital stopped gold sales increasing investment in gold-supported funds.

24 June – Jewellers’ Association, India asked members to halt selling gold bars and coins.

July

22 July – The Reserve Bank of India moved to tighten gold import however it gave a breath to domestic sellers by lifting bans on credit deals.

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