Describing recent restrictions imposed by RBI on import of gold by jewellery exporters as "onerous", the Commerce Ministry has pitched for relaxation of norms for inward shipments of the precious metal.
"The present requirement of their (exporters) being able to import the next consignment of gold, only after proof of export has been submitted is quite onerous...", Commerce Secretary S R Rao said in a letter to Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram.
Rao suggested that the condition of providing proof of export before allowing import of next consignment of gold should be done away with for the exporters of gems and jewellery.
"...there is a cycle of manufacturing which will get disrupted, if we insist on proof of export before second round of imports", the letter said.
In order to contain current account deficit (CAD), the Reserve Bank last month imposed restrictions on gold imports by banks and other authorised agencies.
It was stipulated that banks and other authorised entities would be permitted to undertake fresh imports of gold only after the exports have taken place to the extent of at least 75 per cent of gold remaining in the customs bonded warehouse.
It was also made mandatory for authorised agencies to ensure that at least 20 per cent of the imported gold is made available for exports and a similar amount was retained with the customs.
"It shall be incumbent on all nominated banks/nominated agencies to ensure that at least one fifth of every lot of import of gold (in any form/purity including import of gold coins/dore) is exclusively made available for the purpose of export," the RBI had said.