Timeline - India's efforts to curb gold imports

MUMBAI Mon Aug 19, 2013 4:42pm IST

A gold necklace is kept for finishing touches inside a gold jewellery factory in New Delhi August 13, 2013. REUTERS/Anindito Mukherjee

A gold necklace is kept for finishing touches inside a gold jewellery factory in New Delhi August 13, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Anindito Mukherjee

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MUMBAI (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 central bank 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.

July 31 - India hopes to contain gold imports well below 845 tonnes that were shipped last year, Finance Minister says.

Aug 13 - India hikes import duty on gold for a third time in 2013 to 10 percent. Duties for silver and platinum also increased to 10 percent. Customs duty on gold dore bars, ore or concentrate increased to 8 percent from 6 percent.

Aug 14 - India turns the screws on gold buying again, banning imports of coins and medallions and making domestic buyers pay cash.

(Reporting by Siddesh Mayenkar; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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