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.
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.