Despite sustained measures by the government and the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) to curb gold consumption, the World Gold Council (WGC), the UK-based outfit representing the global gold industry, expects gold demand to rise in India this year.

Talking to The Hindu from London, Marcus Grubb, Managing Director, Investment, World Gold Council, said, “after a fall of 12 per cent in 2012, we are cautiously optimistic and expect Indian demand to rise 11 per cent in 2013 to reach 965 tonnes. Obviously, there are issues like the rising current account deficit, but in India, gold does have an important role to play.”

On the report by the committee appointed by RBI to check gold consumption, Mr. Grubb said, “The report is a sober assessment of the Indian gold market. It has recognized gold as an essential asset in the Indian context and the issue is of how to mobilize idle reserves and put it to use. There have been three hikes in import duty and I do not foresee any more action.”