Gold imports may shrink as dore shines

KOLKATA: India’s import of pure gold is likely to shrink as local refining of dore is picking up.

According to MMTC PAMP and other refiners, as much as 195 tonnes of gold were generated through refining of dore — a semi-pure alloy of the metal — in the just ended fiscal year. That was just over a third of country’s duty paid domestic gold consumption of 570 tonnes.

In fiscal 2019, the refiners are hoping to generate 250 tonnes of gold from dore, further reducing the country’s dependence on import of pure gold, said MMTC PAMP chairman-emeritus Rajesh Khosla.

MMTC PAMP is the only LBMA (London Bullion Market Association) accredited refiner in India.

Dore gold attracts an import duty of 9.35 per cent and, after adding GST of 3 per cent, the total tax incidence is 12.35 per cent, lower than pure gold on which it is 13 per cent (10 per cent import duty and 3 per cent GST). “If the country’s dependence on pure gold reduces, then the import bill will slowly come down and the concern about rising current account deficit will be addressed,” said James Jose, secretary of the Association of Gold Refineries and Mints.