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Government slashes import tariff value of gold to $530/10 grams

After crude oil, gold is the most imported commodity in India in terms of value.

The government reduced the import tariff value of gold from $573 per 10 grams to $530 per 10 grams, while the value was kept unchanged at $1,036 per kg for silver imports.

The tariff value, which is released fortnightly, is the base price on which the customs duty is determined to prevent under-invoicing and discourage import of gold to ease pressure on balance of payments.

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) issued a notification yesterday in this regard, an official release said.

After crude oil, gold is the most imported commodity in India in terms of value.
Bullion traders and jewellers have opposed the recent hikes in tariff value as it would hit demand as the increased costs have to be passed on to consumers.

Early this year, the government had changed the duty structure on gold and silver from specific to value-linked, making precious metals more expensive.

The import duty on gold was fixed at 2% of the value, instead of the earlier rate of Rs300 per 10 grams. On silver, the import duty was pegged at 6%, against Rs1,500 per kg earlier.

India, the world's biggest consumer of gold, imported 967 tonnes of gold in 2011.

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RBI to compensate banks for loss in NE service

“RBI will compensate 100% revenue loss to banks for five years as an incentive to push banking inclusion in the region,” deputy general manger RBI, T Jamang said.

Having prioritised to provide banking service to the people of North-East, Reserve Bank of India (RBI) had decided to compensate commercial banks for revenue loss in the process, RBI officials said.

“RBI will compensate 100% revenue loss to banks for five years as an incentive to push banking inclusion in the region,” deputy general manger RBI, T Jamang said on the sideline of an annual payment conference of RBI.

The parameters set by the RBI were that each village or cluster of nearby villages with a population of 2,000 people should have a banking facility by March 2012, he said.

However, relaxation would also be given in certain areas in which the population is more than 1,000 and more, Jamang said.

“Our intention is to have villages covered by way of banking correspondent and mobile individuals to sensitise people and have them included in banking services,” the RBI official said.

Further, the official said the RBI is working on a strategy to improve e-banking penetration in the region which is aimed at giving people easy access to banking.
“We would like to give people mobile banking facilities in which banking transaction need not take place at the banks but at their fingertips,” he said.

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