Author: Paul Ploumis11 Aug 2014 Last updated at 08:31:05 GMT
MUMBAI (Scrap Monster): India’s Commerce and Industry Ministry has noted that the sanctions on gold import hurt the country’s gems and jewellery industry. In an interview to Press Trust of India (PTI), Nirmala Sitaraman, Union Minister, Commerce and Industry stated that the gold policy has not only impeded gems and jewellery industry in the country, but also spiked up illegal gold imports into the country.
"As a Commerce Minister, I would want the gold restrictions to go away because gems and jewellery industry have been worried that a sector which is potentially so powerful is suffering because of the gold import policy," she told PTI.
According to figures released by the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), gems and jewellery exports accounted for 15% of the country’s total exports during 2013-’14. The gems and jewellery exports totaled $39.5 billion out of the total exports worth $312 billion.
The Commerce and Industry Minister expressed the hope that once CAD is reduced to desired levels, the Finance Ministry will take necessary action to reduce the higher duties on gold import. She noted that though the restrictions on gold imports have helped to lower CAD to 1.7% of the GDP in 2013-’14, gold smuggling into the country has spiked up several folds.
The number of gold smuggling cases reported during 2013-’14 has surged nearly three times to 2,441 when compared with the total of 869 cases reported during 2012-’13. The gold smuggling incidents during the initial quarter of 2014-'15 ie., from April-June '14 this year has already totaled 1269, more than half of the total number of cases during 2013-'14.