Smuggled gold seizures have increased nearly 43 per cent to 2,000 kilogramme during April-September, with most of the yellow metal entering India through the land borders of Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs (CBIC) Chairman Sanjay Kumar Agarwal said in April-September period of last year, 1,400 kg of gold was seized, while during the full fiscal 2022-23, around 3,800 kg was seized.
"There is no change in duty structure of gold vis-a-vis last year. But smuggling may be dependent on the prevailing prices of gold in international and domestic markets." Agarwal told reporters here.
Gold smuggling seizures this year from April till September 2023 is 2,000 kg vis-a-vis 1,400 kg in the same period last year.
"Gold has been smuggled mainly through land border Myanmar, Nepal and Bangladesh," Agarwal said.
The trend of gold smuggling into the country is dependent upon the prices prevailing in domestic market and international market. It cannot be solely linked with the customs duty prevailing on gold, the CBIC chief said.
The department is making concerted efforts to curb gold smuggling whether it is through land borders or through airports or any other routes, Agarwal said.
To deter the smuggling of gold, Customs field formations and the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) keep constant vigil and take operational measures, such as passenger profiling, risk-based interdiction and targeting of cargo consignments, non-intrusive inspection, rummaging of aircraft and coordination with other agencies.
As per a DRI report for 2021-22, gold smuggling in India is fuelled by the huge demand for gold, combined with import duty on licit import of gold.
The basic Customs Duty rate on gold is 12.5 per cent. Along with the Agricultural Infrastructural Development Cess (AIDC) of 2.5 per cent and IGST rate of 3 per cent applicable to the imports of gold, the overall tax rate works out to 18.45 per cent.
India is a negligible producer of gold and the huge demand for gold in the country is met through imports. India imports gold dore bar as well as refined gold.