RBI eases gold import norms
The Reserve Bank of India has allowed “star trading houses” and private jewellery exporters, which had been barred from importing gold since July 2013, to resume imports, with immediate effect. In a statement. the central bank said import of the first lot of gold by trading houses under the so called “80:20 scheme” would be based on the highest monthly import during any of the last 24 months before import restrictions were imposed in August 2013. However, the import quantity has been capped at 2,000 kg.
Also, under the modified guidelines for import of gold, the RBI said the star/premier trading houses should have imported gold prior to the introduction of the 20:80 scheme. The RBI had imposed gold import curbs to counter a steep rise in the current account deficit. Also, the gold import duty was raised last year to 10 per cent from 4 percent and the Government mandated that 20 per cent of imported gold had to be exported, under the 80:20 rule.
On Wednesday, the central bank also allowed banks to lend gold to domestic jewellery makers from the 80 per cent quota. Hitherto, banks could make gold available for domestic use only to entities engaged in the jewellery business/bullion dealers and to banks authorised to administer the Gold Deposit Scheme against full up-front payment.
In other words, supply of gold in any form to domestic users other than against full upfront payment was not permitted. Under the modified guidelines for import of gold, the RBI said the star/premier trading houses should have imported gold prior to the introduction of the 80:20 scheme.
Source: Hindu business line