The Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Traders Association has asked the government to hike the import quota of gold to control black marketing of the precious yellow metal.
A delegation from the federation urged finance minister Shankar Koirala to increase the amount of gold allowed to be imported from the current limit of 15 kilos per day. They called attention to the current demand of 45 kg per day during the wedding season.
Moreover, president of the federation Manik Ratna Shakya pointed out that the shortage of the yellow metal in the market has led to a flourishing black market of the precious metal in the country.
"If the situation regarding gold supply remains static, then the security of gold traders — 12,000 traders, 50,000 artisans and their dependents that amount to 1.5 million people — will be in trouble," pointed out Shakya while submitting a nine-point demand to minister Koirala. The demand included points regarding supply, safety, security and policy assistance, among others.
Two years back in fiscal year 2009-10, the country had witnessed the largest ever balance of payments (BoP) deficit in the history owing to a large quantity of gold and silver imports. The government suspected that the imported precious metals were being smuggled to India where customs difference made it comparatively expensive.Since then the government has allowed only commercial banks to import gold at a quota of 15 kilos per day to prevent a repetition of such a situation. However, during this season last year, government bodies allowed banks to import 20 kilos per day considering the increased demand till the end of fiscal year in mid-July.