Ahmedabad, Jul 29: Restrictions on gold imports will continue following a surge in inward shipments of the metal in July after moderating in the previous month, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said today.
“Imports were low in June but in July it has turned again...in July the imports have risen, therefore those measures (to contain imports) continue,” Chidambaram said at a function of daily Divya Bhaskar here.
Gold imports were 141 tonnes in April and rose to 162 tonnes in May.
“About 302 tonnes of gold was imported in two months. If we multiply it by six, then 1,800 tonnes of gold is to be imported (in the fiscal). So where is the money to import 1,800 tonnes,” he asked, justifying steps taken by the government and the Reserve Bank to curb gold imports.
While the government increased customs duty on gold to 8 per cent, the Reserve Bank imposed a series of restrictions on import and financing of gold.
The minister said India imported 845 tonnes of gold in 2012-13 for which the nation had to shell out USD 50 billion (about Rs 3 lakh crore) in foreign exchange.
Admitting that it was difficult to persuade people not to buy gold, Chidambaram said, “I just ask them to moderate gold purchases. If they are buying 20 grams, I ask them instead to buy 10 grams.”