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.
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