The government has slashed import tariff value on gold to USD 375 per 10 grams and silver to USD 512 per kg following weak global price trends.

During the first fortnight of the month, the tariff value on imported gold was fixed at USD 393 per 10 grams and on silver at USD 549 per kg.

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

The decrease in tariff value on imported gold has been notified by the Central Board of Excise and Customs, according to an official statement released late last night.

Gold in New York, which normally sets price trend on the domestic front, declined from a high of USD 1,162 per ounce and is currently ruling at USD 1,158.60 per ounce.

Silver too has dropped to USD 15.64 per ounce.

In February, gold imports had jumped by 49 per cent to USD 1.98 billion as compared to the year-ago period, while silver shipments contracted by 60.47 per cent to USD 121.42 million in the same period.

Gold is the second-largest import item for India after petroleum. Higher gold import bill adversely affects the country’s current account deficit (CAD).

The government has been repeatedly asking people to desist from buying gold and instead invest in other saving instruments.