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India Not Considering Immediate Gold Import Duty Cut

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The government is not considering an immediate gold import duty cut, Trade Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters on Wednesday.
 
New Delhi had raised the import duty on the yellow metal last year to 10 per cent to limit overseas purchases by the second-biggest bullion consumer and help trim its bloated current account deficit.
 
However, a dramatic improvement in the deficit had raised market expectations of a duty cut.
 
Sitharaman said there have been demands for reduction in the levy on the precious metal as imports declined to 638 tonnes in 2013-14 from 845 tonnes in the previous fiscal year.
 
The government and the Reserve Bank of India had also imposed certain other restrictions on gold shipments, including linking of imports to exports to prevent outgo of the foreign exchange.
 
The restrictions are perceived to have increase instances of smuggling.
 
The cases of gold smuggling had gone up in 2013-14 to 2,441. In 2012-13 and 2011-12 the number of such cases stood at 869 and 500 respectively.
 
High gold imports also pushed up the current account deficit as it rose to $88.2 billion or 4.7 per cent of GDP in 2012-13.
 
Through import curbs, the current account deficit has been brought down to $32.4 billion or 1.7 per cent in 2013-14.
 
Anti-Dumping Duty
The minister also said that India has decided not to impose anti-dumping duty on imports of solar panels.
 
"There was no notification. We allowed it to lapse," Nirmala Sitharaman said referring to an earlier plan by the government to impose anti-dumping duty.
 
New Delhi had ordered the imposition of the duty in May on the panels imported from the United States, China, Taiwan and Malaysia to protect domestic solar manufacturers.
 
(Agencies)