Timeline: India's efforts to curb gold imports

Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:36pm IST

An employee counts money, as a child lies on the counter, following purchases of gold jewellery inside a showroom in Mumbai June 4, 2013. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

An employee counts money, as a child lies on the counter, following purchases of gold jewellery inside a showroom in Mumbai June 4, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Danish Siddiqui/Files

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REUTERS - India, the world's top gold buyer, has taken a series of measures this year to curb demand for bullion - its second-biggest import after oil - as it looks to reduce its record trade deficit.

Following are the measures taken by the RBI and the government in 2013:

Jan 21 -- The government raises gold import duty by 2 percent to 6 percent.

Jan 22 -- The government more than doubles duty on raw gold to 5 percent.

Jan 30 -- Finance Minister P. Chidambaram says no plans for additional taxes or curbs on gold imports.

Feb 1 -- The RBI plans to introduce three to four gold-linked products in the next few months.

Feb 6 -- The RBI says it would consider imposing value and quantity restrictions on gold imports by banks.

Feb 14 -- The central bank relaxes rules on gold deposit schemes offered by banks by allowing lenders to offer the products with shorter maturities.

Feb 20 -- Trade ministry recommends suspending cheaper gold jewellery imports from Thailand.

Feb 28 -- India keeps its gold import duty unchanged in its annual national budget, defying industry expectations.

Feb 28 -- India proposes a transaction tax of 0.01 percent on non-agricultural futures contracts including precious metals.

March 1 -- Finance minister appeals to people not to buy so much gold.

March 18 -- The Reserve Bank of India says it is examining banks that sell gold coins and wealth management products to identify "systemic issues", with a view to closing any legal loopholes.

April 2 -- Finance Minister suggests unlikely to raise the import tax on gold further to avoid smuggling and would instead introduce inflation-indexed instruments.

May 3 -- The RBI restricts the import of gold on a consignment basis by banks.

June 3 -- Finance minister says India cannot afford high levels of gold imports and may review its import policy.

June 5 -- India hikes gold import duty by a third to 8 percent.

June 21 -- Reliance Capital (RLCP.NS) halts gold sales and investments in its gold-backed funds.

June 24 -- India's biggest jewellers' association asks members to stop selling gold bars and coins, about 35 percent of their business.

July 10 -- India's jewellers could continue a voluntary ban on sales of gold coins and bars for six months.

July 22 -- The RBI moves to tighten gold imports again, making them dependent on export volumes, but offers relief to domestic sellers by lifting restrictions on credit deals.

(Compiled by Siddesh Mayenkar in Mumbai; Editing by Joseph Radford)

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