Rise in smuggling of gold due to increase in customs duties
Information obtained through the use of the Right to Information (RTI) Act has shown an increasing trend of smuggling of gold in the country. As per the data, 177.6kg of the yellow metal was intercepted at the IGI airport in this financial year which is up by 26 times when compared to the previous year.]
The rise in gold smuggling has been due to the hike in import duties over the past two years. The minister of state for finance J D Seelam has accepted that the increase in smuggling may be partly attributed to fluctuation in gold prices and duty rates. The statistics show that:
· In the financial year 2010-11, no case of smuggling was detected when the import duty on gold was Rs 300 per 10 gm.
· In 2011-12, a seizure of 2 kg of gold was made as the import duty was increased by 2%.
· In 2012-13, a seizure of 6.82 kg gold was made as the duty was hiked twice.
· In 2013-14 duty was hiked twice and seizure of gold jumped by almost 26-fold.
A couple of days back, two Sri Lankans were caught who were trying to smuggle out 20kg of gold worth more than Rs 5 crore. They were intercepted at the domestic terminal and the X-ray scan of their baggage showed two 10 kg gold bars. The neighbouring countries too have reported an increase in the import of gold which is having an adverse impact of their fiscal deficit.