Author: Paul Ploumis07 Mar 2014 Last updated at 00:57:11 GMT
MUMBAI (Scrap Monster) : Further tightening the import norms so as to keep a check on Gold smuggling, the Revenue Department of India on Thursday announced to have hardened the baggage rule. The baggage rule requires the in-bound passengers arriving to India, to disclose the details of their possessions so as to give the lowdown about the source of funds for gold importing along with their air tickets. The baggage rule was announced earlier by the Govt. to inform the passengers about the customs checking. However, the rising illegal gold import has prompted them to further tighten the baggage norms expecting that it would axe smuggling considerably.
Commenting on the statement of tightening of the rules, the circular of Revenue Department notifies that the new receipt of baggage rule includes new fields with item-wise list of gold jewelries along with the printed serial number on gold bars to be filled by the passengers. The rule also tightens the requirement of knowing the background of such passengers with gold that exceeds the limit as well as the source of funding for gold. There will be field officers authorized to check on the payment of import duty in the foreign currency and to know the source from where by whom the tickets have been booked and like. The tightening of baggage rules according to the revenue department has been put forward to avert the misuse of gold import in India so as to axe the current account deficit.
According to customs, they have come to know that illegal import of gold is being carried out after the Govt. imposed a 10 % hike on gold import in 2013. The lack of stocks and the decline of gold import have triggered gold smuggling drastically over the year. It has been reported that the smugglers have been hiring eligible passengers or NRIs to import gold to India for which they are even providing them with flight tickets. The surge in ‘legal gold smuggling’ is the major reason behind the tightening of baggage rule by the Govt. of India.
According to normal rules, NRIs who stayed abroad for at least 6 months are permitted to bring up to 1 kg of gold to India legally by paying 10 % import duty. The new baggage rule is expected to put a control on the ballooning smuggling crisis in India.
Also Read: New Indian Customs Rule that Checks Gold Transporters to Kick in on March 1