Cogencis, Saturday, Aug 12
[C] Govt says fill questionnaire to import gold from ASEAN members
By Shrikant Kuwalekar and Darshan Rane
PANJIM - In the wake of the recent surge in imports of gold under the free trade agreements from the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, the government has made it mandatory for importers to fill a questionnaire regarding the same, trade sources said, on the sidelines of the India International Gold Convention 2017 here today.
The questionnaire asks the importer to list out details mainly pertaining to the manufacturer and whether verification of origin of the goods was conducted under the free trade agreement.
Revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia had met commerce secretary Rita Teaotia last week to examine the situation.
Sources said that the government plans to form a panel that will submit a report on the same by the end of September.
However, due to ample time before a decision is taken, the government has issued this questionnaire in the interim to deter imports under the free trade agreement.
The move comes amid of the complaints and representations by various bullion and trade associations regarding the imports of gold jewellery and other items under free trade agreements with ASEAN members such as South Korea and Indonesia.
Traders misuse the free trade agreements by importing gold items from ASEAN at a concessional duty of 1-2%, thus circumventing the 10% customs duty that they would have to pay on gold.
They melt this gold and sell it at a discounted rate in domestic markets to profit from the duty differential.
Prior to the implementation of goods and services tax, gold articles imported from ASEAN were taxed a 12.5% countervailing duty. However, with countervailing duty subsumed under the GST, imports from ASEAN have ballooned since Jul 1.
Traders said that around 11 tn of gold was imported from South Korea and Indonesia since July.
Imports of gold by government nominated agencies such as MMTC Ltd have been hit by duty-free imports from ASEAN members, Ashwani Kapoor, general manager of the state-owned company said.End

Written by Roshni Devi
Edited by Harsh Vardhan

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