gold, prices, import duty, budget 2017, tbz, titan
A model poses with gold jewellery during a jewellery show in Kolkata November 1, 2007 (representational image).Reuters file

Gold prices were marginally down in Delhi bullion market tracking global cues, with 24-carat gold trading at Rs. 31,764 per 10 gm on Monday, even as investors await the outcome of two crucial meetings of the US Fed Reserve and Bank of Japan this week.

Shares of gold companies such as Titan, PC Jeweller and Gitanjali Gems were trading with gains on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) on Monday. Titan shares were up 1.26 percent at Rs. 414.95 apiece at around 11.40 a.m. PC Jeweller was up 7.50 percent at Rs. 427 while Gitanjali Gems shares were trading 2.28 percent higher at Rs. 40.35.

Meanwhile, the jewellery industry has sought a 50 percent reduction in the import duty on gold to 5 percent to stop the exodus of business to neighbouring countries. 

At an event organised last week where Prime Minister Narendra Modi was present, GV Sreedhar, the Chairman of the  All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF), said, "There are challenges in the sector. High import duty is affecting our topline and economy as a whole. I request you to consider reducing it to 5 per cent from 10 per cent."

The 10 percent duty on gold is in place since 2013 when the then Congress-led UPA government hiked it to overcome the worsening current deficit account.

The current level of import duty is leading to business shifting to neighbouring countries affecting exports from India, he added, reported Press Trust of India.

Read: Titan, PC Jeweller gain on govt easing gold jewellery excise duty rules

The GJF also wanted the government to set up jewellery parks on the lines of industry-specific ones such as software technology parks.

Gold imports fell for the fifth straight month this year in June, with inward shipments at $1.26 billion, translating into a fall of 38.54 percent from $1.96 billion in the corresponding month last year.

To unlock gold held by households and institutions, mainly temples, the government launched gold bond schemes last year. Some of the temples that get huge donations in the form of gold and other metals include the Venkateswara Temple in Tirupati and  the Siddhivinayak Temple in Mumbai.