New Delhi: Gold smuggling has increased by four fold as government imposed restriction on the yellow metal and increased duties on it to restrict its import to cut down the high current account deficit. Infact gold smuggling has surpassed cases of smuggling of narcotics. In 2013-14, there were 148 cases of gold smuggling with around Rs 245 crore of gold seized by Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). In the previous year around 40 cases of gold smuggling were registered and Rs 44.80 crore of gold was seized.
DRI officials had arrested 464 persons in 2013-14 against 202 in 2012-13 for their involvement in gold smuggling. Incidentally finance minister P. Chidambaram had also accepted that there has been increase in gold smuggling due to restrictions on the yellow metal. “I know gold smuggling has increased... But the restrictions on gold import were absolutely necessary because it is these restrictions which have brought down gold import which in April and May had crossed 300 tonnes,” Mr Chidambaram had said. The finance minister pointed out that if the government had not imposed restrictions, there was no way it could have curbed trade deficit or current account deficit, which was alarmingly high.