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Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma today said government would revisit the gold import curbs, imposed to contain the current account deficit and to improve the balance of payments' position.
"We have by and large gone along with the revenue and the Reserve Bank on this matter,
"....we are equally keen to ensure that we remain strong and competitive when it comes to the gems and jewellery sector and exports," he told reporters here on the sidelines of the inauguration of CII Partnership Summit 2014 while replying to a question on Congress President Sonia Gandhi's letter on relaxation of a rule linking imports of gold.
He said: ".....my officials are presently addressing- the Secretary Commerce and DGFT (Director General of Foreign Trade). On my return to Delhi I will be discussing this issue with the Finance Minister (P Chidambaram). I would like to assure that whatever changes are required in the rule when it comes to the interest of Indian economy and the jewellery industry surely we will look into that very seriously."
"....at the best we will revisit this and see that how to have a balance. I can only discuss and make recommendation because these are matters that are dealt directly by the Finance Ministry and the Reserve Bank but definitely there is no question of delaying....this is very much on my table," he added.
Gandhi, without spelling out her own opinion, had last week asked the Commerce Ministry to look into demands made by gems and jewellery exporters for a cut in customs duty on gold and relaxation of a rule linking imports of the metal with exports.
"You are requested to kindly look into the matter (demands of the gems and jewellery industry) for appropriate action," said a letter written by the office of Gandhi to the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.
Meanwhile, Chidambaram today said the restrictions will be reviewed by March end.
"I am confident that by the end of this (financial) year we will be able to revisit some of the restrictions on gold import but we will do so only when we are absolutely sure that we have a firm grip on the current account deficit," he said.