The government on Tuesday slashed the import tariff value of gold and silver marginally to $ 539 per 10 gm and $ 979 per kg, respectively, amid volatile movement in the global prices of precious metals.

The tariff value, which is released fortnightly, is the base price on which the customs duty is determined to prevent under-invoicing. During December, the tariff value of gold was $ 550 per 10 gm, while silver was $ 1,062 per kg.

The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) issued a notification on Tuesday in this regard.

Apart from precious metals, the government has reduced the import tariff value of RBD palmolein and poppy seeds to $ 835 per tonne and $ 4870 per tonne, respectively.

Last month, tariff value of RBD palmolein stood at $ 872 per tonne, while poppy seed stood at $ 5,346 per tonne.

However, the tariff value of brass scrap was increased to $ 4,090 per tonne from $ 4,069 per tonne.

The government decided to reduce the import tariff value of precious metals following volatile price trend in the international market.

In New York, precious metals have been seesawing in the last few days. Gold that ruled lower at $ 1,640 per ounce has risen to $ 1,680 ounce and currently ruling at $ 1675.20 per ounce. Similarly, silver prices were in the range of $ 29-30.8 per ounce.

However in the national capital, precious metals remained firm. Gold rose by Rs 155 to Rs 31,145 per 10 gm, while silver by Rs 740 to Rs 57,740 per kg on Tuesday.

Traditionally, India has been the world’s largest consumer and importer of gold. However, doubling of the excise duty to 4 per cent in the last budget and the curbs that RBI imposed on gold loan value (down from 85-90 per cent of the value of jewellery to 60 per cent) and banning banks from funding gold purchase by loan companies have led to sharp drop in imports this year.

In April-October, gold imports declined 35 per cent year-on-year and overall imports is set to drop over 17 per cent to 800 tonnes this year.

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