India’s export of gold jewellery rose 1.04 per cent in February, rising for the first time in fiscal 2013-14.

According to figures from the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), cumulative gold jewellery exports from April 2013 to February 2014 fell 45.6 per cent to $6.352 billion.

Exports of gold jewellery have taken a beating in 2013-14 with the government imposing restrictions on the import of gold in a bid to control the current account deficit (CAD) resulting in very limited gold supplies. The measures included higher import duty of 10 per cent on gold and an 80:20 scheme which made it mandatory for gold importers to export a fifth of the gold imported.

Speaking to The Hindu, Pankaj Parekh, Vice-Chairman, GJEPC, said “The blame for poor availability in the market would have to be on the Customs Department. There have been inordinate delays in releasing consignments of imported gold”.

Reacting to the news that five private sector banks have been allowed to import gold by the Reserve Bank of India, Mr. Parekh said that would help improve the supply situation. India’s total gem and jewellery exports during February 2014 fell 8.2 per cent to $3.143 billion ($3.437 billion) while for the 11-month period ending February 2014, it fell 9.9 per cent to $30.828 billion. In February 2014, export of cut and polished diamonds rose 16.11 per cent to $2.164 billion while it rose 20.5 per cent in the 11 month period to $18.14 billion. Silver jewellery exports rose 45.33 per cent to $84.1 million in February 2014 and rose 89 per cent in the 11-month period to $1.35 billion.

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