No Decision Yet Over Restriction on Gold Imports: Sitharaman

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The government will take a decision on easing restrictions on gold imports after studying the issue in detail, Commerce and Industry Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said today.

She said huge gold imports will have a big impact on balance of trade and also on balance of payments. Some sections have been seeking restriction on imports while others are against curbs.

No Decision Yet Over Restriction on Gold Imports: Sitharaman
"The government will look into the issue in detail before arriving at a decision (over restriction on gold imports)," she told reporters.

The Government had increased the import duty on gold to 10 per cent from two per cent in 2013 and introduced 80:20 scheme to control current account deficit (CAD).

Gold imports in September increased manifold to USD 3.75 billion, against USD 682.5 million in same month last year, pushing overall trade deficit to about 18-months high of USD 14.2 billion in the month.

On the constitution of Chilli and Turmeric boards, she said that Andhra Pradesh is demanding the constitution of Chilli Board while both AP and Telangana have been seeking a Turmeric Board but the matter is still under discussion.Some other states are also demanding the constitution of boards to meet requirements of important commercial crops produced in their region, the minister said.

At present the Spices Board, headquartered at Cochin is looking after 52 commercial agro products.

"Constitution of a board for each and every crop is a burden," she said.

On coffee plantation damage in Araku area in AP in the wake of recent Hudhud cyclone, Sitharaman said the losses would be assessed by a Coffee Board Committee and based on its report the ministry would consider supporting the tribal planters in the area.

On the industrial growth in Andhra Pradesh, she said many industrialists are actively considering to set up their industries in the state.

She said that among the important industrial sectors- food processing, power project, IT and ports are the main ones.

She said both state and centre would jointly finalise the setting up of industries in Andhra Pradesh.

PTI

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