India hopes to contain gold imports below last year's level

Last Updated: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 16:07

New Delhi: India hopes to contain gold imports well below 845 tonnes that were shipped last year, Finance Minister P Chidambaram said on Wednesday, a week after the RBI restricted imports further by tying imports to exports volumes.

"We hope to contain gold imports at a level well below last year's total imports of 845 metric tonnes and save considerable amount of foreign exchange, which will have a positive impact on the current account deficit," Chidambaram said.

Since the beginning of the year, the government has also raised the import duty on gold to rein in a current account deficit that hit an all-time high of 4.8 percent of GDP in 2012/13.

Scarce imports have sent premiums soaring, as traders try to puzzle out new central bank rules announced on July 22.

The FM also said that the govt is confident of financing current account deficit (CAD) in 2013-14 without drawing on reserves.

Chidambaram, also said that the government is actively considering significant liberalising of the FDI policy.

"Govt will take measures to attract long term NRI funds,” he said.

On the current account deficit, Chidambaram said, “talks are underway with sovereign wealth funds, pension funds for safe financing of CAD.”

“Sovereign bond issue is an option on table but govt will not rush into a decision,” Chidambaram said.

With Agency Inputs

First Published: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 - 15:54

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