Gold smuggling on the rise, no plans to cut duty, says govt

During the current financial year, enforcement agencies seized 1,074kg of gold as against 326kg seized during the entire 2012-13 and arrested 514 people for smuggling of gold

The Indian government on Tuesday said there has been a rise in cases of gold smuggling due to increase in customs duty rate, but ruled out any immediate change in the duty structure of the precious metal.


In a written reply to the Rajya Sabha, minister of state for finance JD Seelam said, "The enforcement agencies during the first nine months of 2013-14 have seized 1,074.41 kg of gold as against 326.23 kg seized during the entire 2012-13 fiscal". 


"The cases booked by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) and customs field formations indicate that there has been an increase in gold smuggling during the past one year. The increase may be partly attributable to the fluctuation of the price of gold and customs duty rate," he said.


The Minister further pointed out that 514 people have been arrested so far in the current financial year for smuggling of gold as against 154 persons during 2012-13.


On whether the government is considering revoking the restrictions on gold import, Seelam said: "At present there is no such proposal under consideration."


In order to contain the current account deficit (CAD), the government had hiked import duty on gold thrice last year to 10%.


CAD, which touched a record high of $88.2 billion last financial year, is expected to come down to $50 billion in 2013-14.


Gold imports which had touched a high of 162 tonnes in May came down to 19 tonnes in November.


India’s Olympic suspension lifted by IOC

IOC's decision came after its three observers left Indian shores satisfied with the IOA elections, promising to submit a favourable report to its president

More than a year after being shunted out of the Olympic movement due to tainted officials, India was on Tuesday welcomed back by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) within days of conducting a fresh election in the Indian Olympic Association (IOA).


The IOC lifted the 14-month-old ban on India after the IOA barred charge-framed officials from its fresh election held Sunday in which World Squash Federation chief N Ramachandran, was elected as the President. Ramachandran is the younger brother of cricket board chief N Srinivasan.


The decision comes after the IOC’s three observers for the elections left Indian shores “satisfied with the IOA elections, promising to submit a “favourable report to the IOC President”.


Jerome Poivey, IOC’s head of institutional relations, even went on to state that the amended IOA constitution was one of the best in the world and it should be implemented fully.


All India Tennis Association (AITA) chief Anil Khanna was elected Treasurer in the polls, which marked the exit of corruption-tainted Abhay Singh Chautala and Lalit Bhanot from the IOA.


It all started 14 months ago when on 4 December 2012, the IOC suspended the IOA for adhering to the government’s Sports Code and for allowing tainted persons to take part in the election process.


In an act of defiance, IOA went ahead with the polls next day. The world body refused to recognise Chautala and his team of office-bearers.


The IOC later proposed a meeting with the IOA and government representatives but maintained that the Indian body must hold its elections solely under Olympic Charter to return to the Olympic fold.



anita mohan

3 years ago

Ye to honahi tha.. I feel Indian Administrator should be through out. Like Srini, Dalmia, Patel should be out of Association. They don't want to improve games, they wanna do business

Kejriwal orders FIR against Mukesh Ambani, Moily and Deora over gas prices
Kejriwal has reiterated what EAS Sarma, the former secretary to the GoI, has been saying over the years about Reliance Industries, its KG Basin operations, increase in gas prices and role played by the oil ministry

Arvind Kejriwal-led Delhi government on Tuesday ordered filing of criminal cases against petroleum & natural gas minister Veerappa Moily, former minister Murli Deora, Reliance Industries Ltd (RIL) chief Mukesh Ambani and others following complaints of irregularities in pricing of natural gas in KG basin. EAS Sarma, former secretary to the Government of India (GoI), has also been raising the irregularities in KG Basin and the increase in gas prices, since past several years.
Chief minister Kejriwal said anti-corruption branch (ACB) of the Delhi government has been asked to probe the matter based on a complaint filed by former Cabinet Secretary TSR Subrmanian, former Navy chief Admiral Tahiliani and eminent lawyer Kamini Jaiswal beside a former expenditure secretary.
"Today we have asked the ACB to probe the case. We are filing a criminal case against Murli Deora. First information reports (FIRs) are being filed against Moily, Mukesh Ambani, former DG of Hydrocarbons VK Sibal, Reliance Industries and others," he said addressing a press conference in the capital.
Without explaining whether Delhi Government has jurisdiction to probe the case, Kejriwal alleged that Reliance Industries was benefited as Oil Ministry decided to hike the natural gas price to $8 per million British thermal unit as against current $4.2 from 1st April.
However, the allegations made by Kejriwal are nothing new. Mr Sarma has been questioning the activities of RIL in the KG basin and increasing the gas prices since past several years, which according to him will have a long-term bearing on the public exchequer.
Last year in June, Mr Sarma, in a letter, had demanded independent investigation by a special investigation team or SIT in the whole gamut of showering one largesse after another on Reliance Industries. In a letter to prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh, he had said, "If the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) secures adequate autonomy, it could be entrusted with the task of investigating these improprieties. However, I do not feel quite hopeful of the government's intentions against the background of the statements being made by some of your esteemed colleagues. In that case, an investigation by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) should be instituted. I feel that the stakes involved in this matter are far too heavy to be taken lightly."  (Read more Set up SIT to investigate showering of one largesse after another on RIL, says Sarma 
In his salvo, Mr Sarma, cited a news report that says the petroleum minister is once again trying to bypass the mandatory provisions incorporated in the Production Sharing Contract (PSC) in the name of "national security" and extend additional concessions to RIL.
"This is unacceptable. It will amount to a gross impropriety. In fact, what the petroleum minister is now trying to do is to go against the letter and spirit of Comptroller and Auditor General's (CAG) report on PSCs and dole out yet another huge largesse to RIL. No wonder that those who had opposed such concessions in the past were forced to give up the ministerial portfolio of petroleum and natural gas," the former secretary said.
According to Mr Sarma, the Directorate General of Hydrocarbon (DGH) had recommended to the ministry that RIL should be directed to relinquish 86% of the KG-D6 block area as envisaged in the PSC, including that in which discoveries were announced belatedly.
"It is ironic that the ministry should choose to interpret the same PSC to hike up the gas price and quote "national security" and to deviate from the PSC, when it came to relinquishment of the franchised blocks as per the contract. It is nothing but a deliberate ploy to benefit RIL at the expense of the public," he said.
Earlier in November 2012, in a letter sent to prime minister Dr Manmohan Singh and petroleum minister Veerappa Moily, the former secretary had said, "The exploration and development effort put in by RIL in the KG Basin, the technology adopted, the resources discovered, the costs incurred, the claims made on pricing of gas and the costs to be reimbursed are all matters that impinge directly and indirectly on the public exchequer. All such matters should be subject to public scrutiny and RIL should be held accountable to the public". (Read more Why the petroleum ministry is reluctant for a CAG audit of RIL?  
On 7 May 2010, Mr Sarma in a letter to the Prime Minister had said, that in the wake of the recent court ruling, the Union government cannot abandon its own obligation to exercise due diligence and prudence in fixing the price of gas, determine the sectoral and regional allocations and take all such measures necessary to prevent the supplier from exercising monopolistic leverage to the detriment of public interest. (Read more Don't let private cos override public interest in KG Basin: EAS Sarma
He alleged that RIL did not produce adequate gas from eastern offshore KG basin block so as to put pressure on the Government to hike the price.
Reacting to Kejriwal's allegations, oil minister Moily, said: 'One should sympathise with his ignorance …he doesn't know how government runs."
While denying the allegations Moily said: "norms are followed...there is a system in fixing prices."
The Indian government has already approved a proposal to price domestic gas at an average of international gas hub prices and actual cost of importing gas in its liquid form into the country.
Kejriwal said hiking the price of natural gas will have a "cascading effect" on the economy as rates of transportation, power production, fertilisers and food items will go up significantly.
"I am writing to Prime Minister and the Oil Minister to keep the decision in abeyance pending the probe. I will also request PM to direct all ministries to cooperate with the probe," Kejriwal said.
He said the complaint alleged "collusion between some Union ministers and Reliance Industries Ltd" that purportedly resulted in the decision to double the gas price from 1st April.



sandip shetty

3 years ago

No one in India (politics) has the b*&^ls to bell the cat. Only AK and AAP has done it and still people criticizing him. We are a sorry nation of cynics. Anyway I am happy he has exposed this massive sham of the ruling class to benefit Reliance. Lets hope it brings the skeletons out and prices down.



3 years ago

Kejriwal's this step is a political gimmick before loksabha election

Vinay Joshi

3 years ago




Howsoever, Kejriwal govt. SOMEHOW wants exit from governance. SADLY, neither Cong; nor BJP is allowing them to exist & state as 'MARTYR'!?? AAP has come to the conclusion, as 'CONFUSED GOVT', better exit with which EVER manner!

More Kejriwal talks, more he gets exposed, his theatrics of no use to find escape route.

THIS IS THE END of his strategic aspects.


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