India Not Cutting Gold Import Duty Says Trade Minister

India is not considering an immediate cut in gold import duties, Trade Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said on Wednesday, extending a policy that has helped narrow the country’s trade deficit but is believed to have led to an increase in smuggling.

India’s trade and current account deficits have narrowed sharply since New Delhi raised the duty on gold imports to 10 percent from 2 percent through a series of steps last year, helping revive confidence in the country’s economy.

But the duties have also fuelled a belief that smuggling has surged, causing some suspicions about distorted data and raising expectations the government will ease some of its restrictions.

“Yes, the current account deficit has come down. But immediately, there is no plan to reduce import duty,” Trade Minister Nirmala Sitharaman told reporters.

“I cannot say whether gold smuggling has increased because of hike in import duty,” she added in reply to a question.

via Business Standard

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Alfonso Esparza

Alfonso Esparza

Senior Currency Analyst at Market Pulse
Alfonso Esparza specializes in macro forex strategies for North American and major currency pairs. Upon joining OANDA in 2007, Alfonso Esparza established the MarketPulseFX blog and he has since written extensively about central banks and global economic and political trends. Alfonso has also worked as a professional currency trader focused on North America and emerging markets. He has been published by The MarketWatch, Reuters, the Wall Street Journal and The Globe and Mail, and he also appears regularly as a guest commentator on networks including Bloomberg and BNN. He holds a finance degree from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESM) and an MBA with a specialization on financial engineering and marketing from the University of Toronto.
Alfonso Esparza