Duty structure takes a toll on gold imports: MMTC
New Delhi: State-owned trading company MMTC Saturday said its gold imports declined by 30 percent year-on-year to 171 tonnes in the 2011-12 due to changes in the duty structure.
"The latest duty structure has impacted our gold imports in the last fiscal (2011-12)," MMTC Chairman and Managing Director Vijaylaxmi Joshi said after the inauguration of MMTC exhibition-cum sale here.
In 2010-11, the company's gold imports stood at 245 tonnes.
She said in the current fiscal, the company's gold imports are expected to touch the last year's level.
In January 2012, the government tweaked the customs and excise duty structure on precious metals.
According to the notification, the import duty on gold has been fixed at 2 percent of the value, instead of the earlier rate of Rs 300 per 10 grams. With respect to excise, the duty on gold has been fixed at 1.5 percent of the value, as against the earlier fixed rate of Rs 200 per 10 gm.
Besides, in the Union Budget 2012-12, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee proposed an excise duty of one percent on non-branded jewellery of precious metals (other than silver) and doubled import duty on gold to 4 percent.
India, the world's biggest consumer of gold, imported 967 tonnes of gold in 2011.
As far as MMTC's silver imports are concerned, the company registered an increase of 22 percent to 1,100 tonnes in 2011-12 compared to 900 tonnes in the previous year.
"I think we should do better this year," Joshi said. MMTC also plans to open 5 showrooms in the National Capital Region (NCR) with a total investment of Rs 1.5 crore in the current fiscal to expand its footprint in the country.
"We will launch 5 new MMTC Jewels showrooms in NCR region to meet the growing demand of customers for not only festive but round-the-year shopping," Joshi said.
At present, MMTC has about 15 company outlets across the country and 75 stockist outlets.
Besides, she said, the company would focus on introducing trendy jewellery for young generation which would be a little cheaper yet stylish.
The government wants to sell about 10 percent of its stake in MMTC and the company has been working in this direction.
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