India’s seizure of smuggled gold soars following curbs
NEW DELHI (AFP) -- Seizure of smuggled gold in India soared 365 per cent in the first quarter of the year, a report said Saturday, following curbs on imports of the precious metal to plug a yawning trade gap.
India, the world’s largest buyer of gold, has twice hiked import taxes on bullion this year to discourage gold-buying and introduced other restrictions on purchases to rein in a record current account deficit, the broadest measure of trade.
Gold is hugely popular in India, especially during religious festivals and wedding seasons. In the April to June quarter of this financial year, seizure of smuggled gold rose 365 per cent over the same period last year, the Business Standard newspaper quoted a government revenue department official as saying.
“This year, in the first quarter itself, we have seized almost 60 per cent (in value terms) of what was seized in all of last year,” an unnamed government revenue official was quoted as saying.