MMTC Ltd, country's largest foreign trading company, aims to import Rs 8,000 crore worth of gold in FY18 on the back of government action to restrict unofficial gold imports.
"We have clocked Rs 5,000 crore gold imports till December 2016 in the current financial year. In the last two months, the government has taken some step to control the unofficial imports. This month the imports have improved. We hope, if the duty is rationalised in the future, the parallel imports which were taking place will stop in future and import of gold through the official channel will rise. As far as MMTC is concerned, we will close this fiscal with Rs 7,000 crore imports", said Ved Prakash, chairman and managing Director of MMTC Ltd.
"For 2017-18, we should target for Rs 8,000 crore gold imports", he added. MMTC imported gold worth Rs 6,500 crore in FY16.
Presently, the import duty on the yellow metal is 10%. India is world's second-largest consumer of gold.
This apart, MMTC is gearing up to conduct an auction of gold mobilised under the gold monetization scheme. "We have got necessary permission from the government to conduct the auction and it will be done soon", Prakash said.
As of now, MMTC has received 800 kg of gold deposited with State Bank of India.
Similarly, the sale of Indian Gold Coins for which MMTC was the vender, is slated to pick up pace after being in a slow lane for a while. MMTC has already sold about 70% of 1,50,000 national gold coins weighing about 800 kg.
Earlier, the coins were sold through MMTC offices only. But recently, the commodity behemoth has tied up with seven banks to use their branches for selling the coins. The banks include ICICI Bank, Punjab National Bank, Vijay Bank. As a result, the sale outlets across the country have gone up to about 400.
The coins were sold in five grams and 10 grams. The price of the coins vary with prices of the gold.
Indian Gold Coin was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 5, 2015. It is India's first ever sovereign gold offering and only gold coin hallmarked by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for purity. Indian Gold Coin has the National Emblem Ashoka Chakra engraved on one side and Mahatma Gandhi on the reverse side. Its other unique features include 24 Karat 999 fineness purity, positive tolerance both in weight and purity, tamper proof packaging and advanced anti-counterfeit features.