New Delhi: Recording nearly three-fold rise, India's gold imports increased to US $4.95 billion in May.
According to the Reserve Bank, the precious metal's imports saw a surge initially on account of seasonal and festival demand but subsequently due to stockpiling in
anticipation of the the goods and services tax (GST) rollout. Gold imports stood at US $1.47 billion in May last year, as per official data released today.
Surge in the imports last month contributed to the widening of trade deficit to a 30-month high of US $13.84 billion as against US $6.27 billion in May 2016.
Silver imports too jumped to US $442.9 million in May from US $39.54 million in the same month last year.
India is the world's second biggest gold consumer after China. The imports mainly take care of demand by the jewellery industry.
At present, gold import attracts 10 percent duty. The gems and jewellery industry along with the commerce ministry has time and again urged the finance ministry to consider a cut in the import duty.
High imports of the precious metal could impact the CAD numbers.
The current account deficit (CAD) soared to US $3.4 billion, or 0.6 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, from US $0.3 billion a year ago.
Updated Date: Jun 16, 2017 12:02 PM