Gold: Niti Aayog panel to help revamp gold market

India’s gold market could be in for a major overhaul. Policy think tank Niti Aayog is forming a `Committee to Transform India’s Gold Market’ under the chairmanship of Ratan P Watal, its principal advisor, trade sources told ET.

The committee will meet shortly in Delhi to take stock of the global gold market and how India can leverage its status of a leading consumer of gold, possibly revamp the Gold Monetisation Scheme, analyse growth drivers of gold and industries related to it and explore methods to incentivise trade to fully report financial transactions to facilitate curtailment of black money.

It will also examine the duty structure on gold, currently at 10 per cent, and suggest changes. It will also explore the benefits of launching a bullion exchange where gold lying with households and other residents can be sold to traders, thus reducing imports.

India imports 600-650 tonnes of gold annually. But since duty on gold was increased in stages from 2 per cent to 10 per cent in 2013 to curb a ballooning current account deficit, smuggling of bullion has begun. Sudheesh Nambiath, lead analyst with precious metals consultancy, GFMS Thomson Reuters, estimates that 120-150 tonnes enters the country unofficially to circumvent the 10 per cent duty.

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