According to the information provided by the Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) to the Ministry of Finance, gold smuggling has witnessed unprecedented surge during 2013-’14.
As per data, Indian Customs Department detected 2,419 incidents of gold seizures during the fiscal 2013-‘14. The value of seized gold during the period totaled Rs 678 crores. The seizure of smuggled gold has multiplied nearly seven times when compared with Rs 94 crores worth gold seized in 919 cases during the previous fiscal.
Alarmingly, the number of gold smuggling cases jumped even higher during the first quarter of the current fiscal. The three-month period from April to June this year reported 1,264 cases of smuggling. The total value of gold seized during this period amounted to Rs 354 crores, which is more than half of the total worth of gold seized during entire 2013-’14 fiscal.
According to CBEC data, 461 kilograms of gold were seized during the month of April ’14 alone. The quantity of gold seized during May and June this year were 362 kilograms and 464 kilograms respectively.
In an attempt to check the rising CAD situation, the Indian government had raised the import duty on gold in three phases to 10% last year. In addition, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had also laid down several pre-conditions for gold imports into the country. With tight gold import curbs in place, smuggling has witnessed sudden spike during 2013-’14, noted CBEC.
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