By Paul Ploumis 14 Jul 2015 Last updated at 08:38:14 GMT
MUMBAI (Scrap Monster): The provisional data released by Indian tax authorities indicate that customs duty collection on imported gold fell significantly during the initial three-month period of current fiscal.
According to data, the country’s gold imports during the first quarter period from April to June this year totaled 203 tonnes, significantly down by 8% when matched with the total imports of 221 tonnes during the corresponding quarter last fiscal. The value of imported gold too plunged on account of declining gold prices. The imported gold during Apr-Jun ’15 was valued at INR 46,000 crore, nearly 15% lower when compared with the value of INR 54,800 crores during the same period last fiscal. As per officials, low volumes of gold import coupled with weak gold prices have resulted in lower duty collection during the first quarter.
International gold prices have slumped almost 11% during the past one year. There has been a significant slowdown in retail gold demand in the country. Also, industrial demand for gold too continues to remain subdued.
However, figures released by the Commerce Ministry suggest 50% jump in gold imports during April to May this year. This contradicts the gold import data published by tax authorities. The Ministry is expected to release the gold import data for the month of June and for the initial three-month period of the current fiscal soon.
Meantime, industry experts believe that gold smuggling in India is on the rise despite sharp drop in legal gold imports. The illicit gold trade in the country accounts for almost one-fifth of the legal gold import. The smuggling through airports continues to remain rampant. Also, rackets are increasingly using sea-route for illegal gold shipment into the country.