New Delhi: The government on Friday said Customs Department has seized 174.62 kg of gold worth Rs 51.03 crore during first 11 months of the current fiscal.
Customs Department at the international borders seized 160.98 kg of gold valued at Rs 34.67 crore during 2011-12, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.
All the Customs formations including Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) have been sensitised to prevent smuggling of gold into the country, he said.
Constant surveillance is kept on seaports, airports and land customs stations, he added.
In order to curb imports of the precious metals, the government in January hiked the import duty on gold and platinum to 6 percent from 4 percent.
He also said that RBI as a measure to bring down prices of gold, has advised banks not to grant advances for purchase of gold in any form including primary gold, gold bullion and gold coins except for genuine working capital requirements of jewellers.
Besides, he said, RBI has recently advised banks to introduce modified gold deposits scheme.
The prices of gold in the country are determined by the international bullion market prices and domestic demand, he added.
In a separate response, Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said RBI has informed that based on assessment of the prevailing and evolving liquidity conditions, they undertake Open Market Operations (OMO).
During 2012-13, (up to March 19, 2013), Meena said, RBI has infused Rs 1, 25,680 crore of liquidity through purchase of Government of India dated securities as against the notified amoount of Rs 1,38,000 crore through 13 OMO auctions.
First Published: Friday, March 22, 2013, 17:18