In a written reply in the Lok Sabha, Namo Naraine Meena, Minister of State for Finance said that gold import stood at nearly 851 tonnes last year.
Besides, in terms of value, import of gold increased by 36 per cent to Rs 1,84,728 crore in 2010-11 corresponding to Rs 1,35,877 crore a year ago, statistics revealed.
Speaking about the import regulation, he said, "Import of gold, except for monetary purpose, is free. However, it is subject to Reserve Bank of India regulations. There is no proposal to change this policy at present."
Recently, in the Union Budget 2012-13, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has proposed to double the basic customs duty on standard gold bars to four per cent and on non-standard gold to 10 per cent. Aprt from this, he also imposed one per cent excise duty on unbranded jewellery.
Protesting against the move, bullion traders and jewellers across the country has kept the showroom closed for the last 14 days. They are demanding roll back of hike in import duty on gold and imposition of excise duty on unbranded jewellery.