RBI may issue clarification on gold imported under 80:20 norms

Gold imports prior to abolition of 80:20 scheme may not be subject to the restrictive provisions imposed by the Reserve Bank to contain import of precious metal, reported PTI.

A clarificatory circular to this effect is likely to be issued by the RBI shortly, sources said as per the media reports.

RBI may issue clarification on gold imported under 80:20 norms
The RBI had abolished the 80:20 gold import scheme on November 28 and concerns were raised if the provisions of the scheme would be applied to imports made before the date of notification.

The RBI is of the opinion that the imposition of the provisions of the circular on imports made prior to the abolition of the scheme would create operational problems and hence need not be insisted upon by the customs authorities.

Under the 80:20 norm, which was put in place in August 2013 to curb high gold inflows that was widening the current account deficit, at least 20 per cent of the imported gold had to be mandatorily exported before bringing in new lots.

The RBI is likely to issue a clarification with regard to abolition of end-use restrictions for gold import under the scheme, which have been withdrawn.

Following the abolition of the scheme, the import of gold will be permitted on consignment basis on payment in cash or through 100 per cent margin backed letter of credit.

Gold imports surged by over six-fold to USD 5.61 billion (over Rs 35,000 crore) in November. The in-bound shipments touched 95 tonnes in September this year as against 12 tonnes a year ago.

The 80:20 norms were relaxed earlier in May and six private sector trading firms were permitted to import the gold under the scheme. Initially, only state-owned firms and banks were permitted to import.

The six private firms, which were given relaxation, accounted for 40 per cent of the total gold imports in April-September, sources said.

India imported 95.67 tonnes of gold in September, the highest in the first six months of this financial year.

In August, the imports stood at 50.21 tonnes.

Imports of the precious metal in April, May, June and July were 43.20 tonnes, 52.61 tonnes, 77.68 tonnes and 45.26 tonnes respectively.

Read more about: gold
Story first published: Wednesday, December 24, 2014, 9:20 [IST]
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