"Gold imports have risen six times. Only a few days ago we had come up with a revision of the policy. The government would like to wait and watch and then take steps, if required," Commerce Secretary Rajeev Kher said after inaugurating the India Engineering Sourcing Show (IESS) here.
The three-day IESS opened here with over 300 global companies dealing in high technology areas participating to actively engage with the Indian engineering industry for sourcing.
"Trade deficit is a concern. Gold imports phenomenally have risen six times. Definitely, it is a concern but only a few days ago, we have come up with a revision of our gold import policy.
"I am sure the government would like to watch the consequences of that. So we will wait and take a call at an appropriate time. We will have to wait and see how the next month follows," the Commerce Secretary said.
He said while a big rise in gold imports is a matter of concern, the situation has also to be seen in the context of whether this increase could result in improvement of India’s exports of gems and jewellery.
He said this in reply to a query on government’s stand on the 80: 20 scheme, which had been liberalised after a strong demand from the exporters and the domestic jewellery industry.
"At this point let us not create an environment of worry or scare, we need to watch, we need to see. The concern is growing trade balance and growing trade deficit on account of gold imports and therefore we need to work out. If gold imports have improved, I also need to see if it is possible (that), because of unleashing of controls, I am in a position to improve my gold jewellery exports to some extent”.
Gold imports in November stood at USD 5.6 billion against USD 835 million in November, 2013.
In quantity terms, the shipments had increased to 151.58 tonnes in November against about 40 tonnes in October.
Meanwhile, addressing the media, Chairman of the EEPC India, Anupam Shah said business worth over USD 500 million is expected to be generated at the IESS in the next three days.
Shah said he agreed with the Commerce Secretary that the profile of the Indian engineering exports have been changing fast from being a pure exporter of items like steel and iron to supplier of high technology products in aero space, ship building etc.