The quantity of gold seized rose to 2,288.67 kg in the first half of 2014-15 as compared to 522.29 kg in the year ago period. In value terms, it was Rs 632.52 crore in April-September 2014 as against Rs 152.64 crore in the same period a year ago.

"Increase in seizure of smuggled gold this year compared to last year during aforementioned period may be partly attributed to the fluctuations of the price of gold, restrictions imposed on import of gold and customs duty rates," Minister of State for Finance Jayant Sinha said in a written reply to the Lok Sabha.

"Increase in the gold import this year compared to the last year during same period may be attributed to higher domestic demand," he said.

The minister said that India imported 492.047 ton of gold in the first six months of the current fiscal as compared to 419.661 ton in the same period a year ago.

In value terms, the import was to the tune of Rs 1,21,933.37 crore as against Rs 1,04,761.76 crore.

As the CAD situation improved and the quantum of the gold import reduced significantly, it was decided in May, 2014 to allow premier and star trading houses to import gold under 20:80, he said.

Further on November 28, 2014, the stipulation of minimum export of the 20 percent out of every lot of gold import was withdrawn, he added.

In reply to another question, he said, India holds 10th position among the major holders of official gold reserves in the world as per the international financial statistics 2014 of the International Monetary Fund.

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