India Hikes Duty on Imported Gold, Seeking to Bring Down Trade Deficit

In its attempt to relieve the pressure against the rupee, the Indian government announced on July 1 that it had hiked the duty on imported gold by five percentage points to 12.5%. However, there are fears the import duty hike will spur a resurgence in the smuggling of the commodity.

India’s Worsening Trade Deficit

Faced with a rising trade deficit and weakening local currency, the Indian government announced on July 1 that it was hiking the duty on imported gold from 7.5% to 12.5%. Immediately after the announcement, the precious metal’s price in India went up by 3%.

According to a report, the latest data from the country shows that imports of the precious metal into India — the world’s second largest consumer of gold — grew by almost ten times in twelve months to $6 billion. During the same period (May 2021 to May 2022), India’s negative trade balance grew to $24.29 billion, up from the $6.53 billion that was recorded a year ago.

Following the announcement, some Indian experts lauded the decision which they say will dampen demand for the precious metal. However, an unnamed dealer is quoted in the report suggesting that the hike will likely encourage the smuggling of the commodity. The dealer is quoted as saying:

Gold smuggling was falling after the duty reduction and because of COVID-19 curbs on [the] movement of people. But now it could rise again.

Rupee Decline

Meanwhile, another expert, Somasundaram PR, a regional CEO of the World Gold Council’s Indian operations, concurred with experts who assert that the hike will help reduce demand for gold and thus ease the pressure on the rupee. Surendra Mehta, a secretary at India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA), is quoted in the same report predicting that the demand for the precious metal will rebound.

According to the report, the announcement by the Narendra Modi government came just as reports emerged that the Indian rupee had breached the 79 mark against the U.S. dollar for the first time. At the time of writing, the rupee-dollar exchange rate stands at 79.09.

What are your thoughts on this story? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Earning Passive Income With Crypto

Related Posts

Fractional NFT Markets Slide 76% in Value in 7 Months, Diced-up Doge NFT Still Leads the Pack

When non-fungible token (NFT) collectibles became popular, the fractionalized NFT market grew past the $200 million range seven months ago in December 2021. Since then, the fractionalized…

Bored Ape Yacht Club (BAYC) NFT Sales Test New Higher-Low Slipping More Than $290M

Similar to more than 90% of NFTs, BAYC saw a significant reduction in sales volume due to negative market sentiment during the seventh month of the year. …

Crypto Use in Metaverse Could Threaten Financial Stability, Says BoE

The prospective widespread use of cryptocurrencies within a fully developed metaverse could pose a systemic risk to financial stability, according to Bank of England researchers. Were the…

Troubled CoinFLEX Files for Restructuring in Seychelles

On Tuesday, the troubled Cryptocurrency exchange, CoinFlex, filed for restructuring in a Seychelles court to resolve a shortfall due to a counterparty failing to make a margin…

Elon Musk Sells Tesla Shares Worth Nearly $7 Billion — Plans to Buy TSLA Stock Back if Twitter Deal Falls Through

Elon Musk has sold nearly 8 million Tesla shares worth almost $7 billion. “It is important to avoid an emergency sale of Tesla stock” if Twitter forces…

Citadel CEO Ken Griffin Spills Beans on Why He Outbid ConstitutionDAO

Citadel CEO Ken Griffin opens up on what prompted him to outbid ConstitutionDAO last year to obtain a rare copy of the U.S. Constitution. The prized document…