Author: Paul Ploumis03 Apr 2014 Last updated at 08:28:43 GMT
NEW DELHI (Scrap Monster): The gold imports by the country during March are expected to jump higher from February levels, noted the country’s biggest jewellery trade body. According to Haresh Soni, Chairman, All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF), the RBI’s decision to grant gold import licenses to five new banks will take the country’s gold imports in March to higher levels.
Earlier, during mid-March, the RBI had allowed five domestic private sector banks to import gold as part of easing stringent rules of import. The gold import permissions were being granted to HDFC Bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Axis Bank, IndusInd Bank and Yes Bank. According to Haresh Soni, these five banks have wide presence across India. The competition arising out of the entry of new banks may result in state-owned agencies clearing off their stock against orders.
The gold premiums in India declined sharply on hopes of increased supply of the precious metal. The premiums fell to as low as $25-$30 per troy ounce, a fall of nearly 85% from the peak of $160 during December last year.
Haresh Soni also urged the government to ease the pressure on legal gold imports into the country to save the struggling gems and jewellery industry.
Industry sources view the RBI’s decision as the first step towards easing of strict gold import norms. The country’s Finance Minister, P Chidambaram had announced during a press briefing that the government may consider further relaxations on 80:20 norms after necessary consultations with the RBI.