India to raise gold limit for NRIs

Men allowed only Rs10,000 worth of gold to be worn

The Indian government could soon ease the limit on personal gold jewellery worn by incoming expatriate Indians.

A senior Indian official in Dubai told Emirates24|7 that the government is actively considering the decision and an announcement could be made very soon.
According to the current regulations a male traveller is allowed to carry 50 per cent less gold in comparison to a female traveller.
Non-Resident Indians (NRIs) have especially been demanding the government ease restrictions on gold worn or carried as personal jewellery. India’s Customs and Central Excise Rules 1967 stipulates that a man travelling to India can bring gold ornaments worth Rs10,000 (approximately Dh750) while a woman is allowed to bring gold worth a maximum of Rs20,000.
With the oncoming marriage season in India, many expatriates travel to India to attend family and friends' weddings. It becomes embarrassing if one is wearing a tiny gold chain and a ring, given that these two could alone cover the total permissible import limit with the current high price of gold," said S Kumar.
Indian airports have been conducting stringent checks on most travellers and asking them to shell out duty for any gold ornaments over the stipulated amount.
NRIs had even submitted an online petition to the government with this regard.
“The decision has almost been made to ease the customs duty. We could see it announced very soon,” the Indian official said.
India is witnessing a serious drop in gold imports this year. According to latest estimates, this year’s gold imports is expected to drop by almost 25 per cent compared to last year and 32 per cent compared to 2010.
World Gold Council statistics reveal that India imported 933.4 tonnes of gold in 2011 compared to 1,006.3 tonnes in 2010. This year gold imports into India is only expected to reach about 650 to 700 tonnes.
“Gold has been hit in every way. There is a liquidity crisis because of high interest rates and the monsoon was not very good in some states (so purchasing power will be low),” Prithviraj Kothari, a member of Bombay Bullion Association said Speaking to Mint – a business newspaper published from India.

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