Gold imports in value terms declined by 30.3 per cent in the April-September period of this year to USD 20.2 billion, Parliament was informed today.
During the April-September period of 2011, the gold imports had increased by 66 per cent to USD 29 billion.
"Decline may have occurred due to increase in customs duty on gold imports by government in January and March 2012," Minister of State for Finance Namo Narain Meena said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha.
For the entire 2011-12 fiscal, gold imports stood at USD 56.2 billion. "It may be noted that the international gold prices have also increased significantly in recent years. Such behaviour of gold prices assumes importance for building up of positive expectations of gold investors and hence might have partly contributed to the increase in gold imports in India," Meena said.
During April-September period of 2012-13, the value of gold imported by Government and public sector stood at Rs 18,026 crore and that of private sector is Rs 92,501 crore, Meena added.
In his Budget proposal, the then Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had doubled the basic customs duty on standard gold bars to four per cent and on non-standard gold to 10 per cent. He also imposed one per cent excise duty on unbranded jewellery.