No plans to roll back gold import curbs - Chidambaram

MUMBAI Thu Jan 23, 2014 5:14pm IST

Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram attends a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 22, 2014. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

Finance Minister Palaniappan Chidambaram attends a session at the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos January 22, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Denis Balibouse

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MUMBAI (Reuters) - India is not planning any changes to its record import duty on gold and other restrictions on imports until the current account deficit is firmly under control, Finance Minister P. Chidambaram told CNBC TV18 in Davos.

"Until we have a firm grip on the current account deficit I do not contemplate any roll back in any measure. We will have a full idea of the current account deficit only when the budget is presented and when the year comes to an end," Chidambaram said.

He was answering a question about an earlier TV report that Sonia Gandhi, the leader of the ruling Congress party, had written to the government asking for gold import restrictions to be eased. Chidambaram said he had not read the letter.

India has a record 10 percent import duty and a rule that says 20 percent of all imports must leave the country as exports. India used to be the world's biggest buyer of bullion until the government introduced the curbs in order to contain a record current account deficit.

India's fiscal year ends on March 31, 2014 and the budget will be presented in February.

(Reporting by Suvashree Choudhury & Siddesh Mayenkar)

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