Gold imports, which have a bearing on the current account deficit, zoomed to USD 6.91 billion (Rs 51,438.82 crore) during April-May 2021 due to low base effect in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the Commerce Ministry.
Imports of the yellow metal had plunged to USD 79.14 million (Rs 599 crore) in the corresponding period last year, the data showed.
Silver imports, however, dipped by 93.7 per cent to USD 27.56 million.
Significant jump in the gold imports has lead to widening of the country’s trade deficit, difference between imports and exports, to USD 21.38 billion during April-May this fiscal as against USD 9.91 billion in the year-ago period.
India is the largest importer of gold, which mainly caters to the demand of jewellery industry. In volume terms, the country imports 800-900 tonnes of gold annually.
Gems and jewellery exports increased to USD 6.34 billion during the first two months of the current fiscal as against USD 1.1 billion in the same period previous year.