NEW DELHI: With constant fall in global gold prices, India is likely to see a jump of 11 per cent in import of the yellow metal to 1,000 tonnes this calendar year. According to the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation, India, as the world's second-biggest gold consumer, had imported around 900 tonnes in 2014.
G V Sreedhar, chairman of the federation said on Tuesday, “Imports are likely to increase because of low global prices.” Imports through smuggling are estimated to be around 100 tonnes this year, he added.
According to the federation, India has already imported 850 tonnes of gold from January-September of 2015 as against 650 tonnes in the first 9 months of last year.
The World Gold Council (WGC) expects the recent hike in US Fed rate and subsequent fall in gold prices in dollar terms may have little impact on demand in major consuming countries such as India and China. Festival and wedding purchases were brought forward to take advantage of the price dip, therefore demand towards the end of the year is likely to be correspondingly affected, the trade body said.
Gold is the second-largest import item for India after petroleum. Higher gold import bill adversely affects the country's current account deficit.
The jewellers body also opposed the government's decision to make PAN mandatory on over `2 lakh of cash transaction, saying the move would affect badly their business and sought the limit to be hiked to `10 lakh.
It also demanded the gold import duty should be brought down to 2 per cent from the current 10 per cent, if not in one go then gradually.