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Indian airports see huge drop in legal gold imports

The Customs and Central Excise Department had recently made it mandatory for any passenger bringing gold into the country, to declare his/her source of income. With legal gold imports dropping sharply during recent months, the authorities doubt whether this measure has backfired. Added to it, the number of gold seizures has shown alarming rise during this period.
As per customs records, nearly 1,040 kg of gold bullion were shipped through Karipur International Airport during the fortnight between December 3rd and 15th last year. However, statistics indicate that only 18 kilograms of gold were brought in by passengers since April 2014.
Earlier, it was a trend among Indians returning to the country to bring gold by paying applicable duty. Traders who were faced with short supply of the yellow metal had even paid airfare of travelers in exchange for transporting gold into the country. According to normal rules, NRIs who stayed abroad for at least 6 months are permitted to bring up to 1 kg of gold to India legally by paying 10 % import duty.
The tight gold import norms imposed by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had triggered gold smuggling acts in the country. However rampant checks at the airports helped to put a break on this. The gold carriers had once again turned to proper channel for sneaking gold into the country, as bringing the allowed one kilogram of gold would fetch them good profits.

However, the Customs Department had clamped down legal gold imports by imposing fresh requirements such as source of income, details of jewelries from where the gold was purchased and so on. This has resulted in sharp drop in gold imports through legal channel. Meanwhile, gold smuggling acts have once again shot up. In probably the biggest gold seizure of the year, 7.5 kilograms of smuggled gold was seized at the airport on Wednesday.

Source:Scrap Monster

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