Gold import clause clarified, but yellow metal crunch to continue
Sep 05 2013 , Chennai
RBI in its circular on July 22, had restricted the availability of imported gold for the domestic market by mandating that 20 per cent of an imported consignment should be exclusively made available for exports. The customs department was confused about how to implement the RBI notification and the stocks were stopped from being brought into the country. This had not only affected the availability of gold in the domestic market, but also for the exporters.
“It is welcome that the customs department has cleared the confusion. Though the availability issues of the domestic gold industry has not been resolved, this will at least resume imports,” said Haresh Soni, chairman, All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation.
As per customs department’s circular on Wednesday, the nominated agency has to release 20 per cent of the first consignment to exporters before going for the second consignment. The department will ensure that all clearances of gold from the customs bonded warehouses from the third consignment onwards does not exceed five times the quantity of gold exported as per the 20/80 scheme. For the third assignment, the agency has to furnish proof of the 20 per cent of gold that has been exported.
Documents pertaining to ‘realisation of payment’ will be needed as proof of exports.
“When a shipment is made the exporter gets a 90-day credit period and an additional 180 days is given to the overseas buyer for making the payment. So there will at least 270 days delay in getting the ‘payment realisation’. If shipping bill was accepted as proof for exports, the delay could have been avoided,’ said Bachhraj Bamalwa, past chairman, GJF.
The customs department also excluded gold supplied to SEZs and export oriented units under the scheme.
“Last year the country had imported around 150 tonnes of gold, of which gold coins and medallions were around 60 tonnes. The government has already suspended the import of gold coins and medallions for export purposes. Of the remaining 90 tonnes, the SEZs and EOUs account for around 30 tonnes of gold exports. If they too are excluded the export quantum will come down to 60 tonnes and as per the 20/80 scheme and the domestic market can import only 240 tonnes in an year,” said Bamalwa.
“Though the import has been resumed, the availability of gold will remain tight in the domestic market, especially during the festive season,” added Soni.