Metal Tally: Women Bring in Twice as much Gold

The maximum permissible limit for bringing gold home from your next trip abroad has been enhanced with the finance minister P Chidambaram raising it to Rs 50,000 for men and Rs 1 lakh for women passengers.In contrast,earlier only three grams of gold for men and six grams for women was the permissible limit of jewellery that one could carry while entering or leaving India.

Though its a significant raise from the last revision in 1991,gold prices have multiplied several times over since then and frequent travellers are still not happy with the new limit.

At the Parvasi Bhartiya Divas (PBD) in January at Kochi,NRIs had passed a strongly worded resolution,urging the government to revise the limits.This does not allow us to even wear a ring, the resolution had stated.Tejal Amin,a frequent traveller,says,Attending weddings abroad meant people couldnt carry traditional sets,which cost more than Rs 1 lakh.The option was to wear costume jewellery.

The FM also imposed a 0.001% Commodities Transaction Tax (CCT) on trading in gold futures (part of the imposition of CTT on nonagri commodities),but cut securities transaction tax on gold exchange traded funds.Industry bodies have raised concerns against the CTT,stating it will not only increase transaction costs but add to the cost of risk management and dissuade genuine hedgers.

The All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) welcomed the move.Bachhraj Bamalwa,chairman,GJF,says,CTT will decrease speculative activity of investors and non-gem and jewellery manufacturers.

Monal Thakkar,president of Amrapali group,an importer,says,With the 0.01% CTT on every 10 grams of gold,the investor will have to shell out Rs 3.33 (at current market price).However,there is an increase of Rs 330 on one kg of gold.

Times of India, New Delhi, 01-03-2013

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