The Central government on Thursday, 31 December, 2015, reduced the import tariff value on gold by $2 to $345 per 10 gm and increased the tariff value by $4 on silver to $452 per kg.

The tariff values on gold and silver were fixed at $347 and $448 by the government on 16 December, 2015.

The import tariff value is the base price at which the customs duty is determined to prevent under-invoicing. It is normally revised on a fortnightly basis.

The tariff values were fixed at $344 on gold and $461 on silver on 30 November, 2015, by the government.

Gold lost about 6.30% during calendar year 2015; the metal's price was Rs 27,100 per 10 gm on 1 January this year, and the closing price on 31 December, 2015, was Rs 25,390.

Silver, too, witnessed a similar trend, losing almost 8%. Its closing price on 1 January was Rs 36,200 per kg while the price on the last day of calendar 2015 was Rs 33,300 per kg.

India's gold imports have come down consistently over the years, from $56.5 billion in the 2011-12 fiscal, to $53.8 billion in 2012-13, to $27.70 billion. It was $24.49 billion last year, and in this fiscal, the country imported gold worth $22.73 billion in the first eight months (April to November).

India's gold imports plunged 36.48% to $3.53 billion in November 2015 from $5.57 billion in the corresponding month last year, due to falling gold prices.

The import value of silver also declined last month, according to statistics released by the Union Commerce Ministry.

Silver imports dropped 55% to $285 million in November 2015, from $643.71 million in November 2014.