Gold imports plunge 10 percent in fiscal 2016

New Delhi-India (May 6)  Gold imports fell by close to 10 percent to 950 tonnes in the 2015-16 fiscal on poor domestic sales due to jewellers' strike and lack of global price parity, a top official of state-run MMTC said.

Representional image. Reuters

Representional image. Reuters

The world's largest gold consumer had purchased 1,050 tonnes of gold from the overseas market in the receding year. "Gold imports fell to 950 tonnes in 2015-16 from 1,050 tonnes in 2014-15 fiscal," MMTC Chairman and Managing Director Ved Prakash told reporters.

The slump came as jewellers kept their shops shut in protest against imposition of one per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery. Lack of price parity in the global market also curbed shipments in 2015-16, he said.

The maximum quantity of gold was imported by the Bank of Nova Scotia at about 150 tonnes in the latest fiscal, followed by MMTC at 50 tonnes.

Riddhi Siddhi Bullion, State Bank of India, Punjab and Sindh Bank, Tanishq are among other major importers of gold. "MMTC's gold imports were down at 50 tonnes in 2015-16 from 70 tonnes in the previous year because of the 80:20 import rule and other developments," Prakash said.

Interestingly, the import of dore gold, unrefined form, was higher as compared to bullion in the said period due to lower import duties on dore gold and operation of small gold refineries in Uttarakhand.

At present, import duty on gold is 10 per cent, while it is 8.5 per cent on dore gold.

Source: FirdtPost