New Delhi: India's gold imports contracted by 18.4 percent year-on-year to Rs 71,912 crore in the April-June quarter of the current fiscal.
However, it is difficult to attribute specific reasons for decline in import of gold, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Jyotiraditya Scindia has said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.
"Volume of import of any commodity, including gold, depends on many factors which includes domestic demand, international and domestic prices, exchange rate, duty rates," he said, adding that the import of gold is free except for monetary purposes.
"However, it is subject to RBI regulations. There is no proposal to change this policy," he added.
In a separate reply, the minister said discussions have been held with representatives of associations like consumer micro and small industry and food processing industry on FDI in multi-brand retail.
"While views for and against FDI in multi-brand retail trading were expressed, the discussions generally indicate support for the policy, subject to the introduction of adequate safeguards," he said.
The Cabinet decision of November 24, 2011, to allow 51 percent FDI in the sector could not be implemented in the face of strong opposition from UPA ally Trinamool Congress and several state governments.