By A Staff Reporter, Kathmandu, July 5: Import of gold and silver to the country has decreased significantly in the current fiscal year.
The country imported gold and silver worth Rs. 22.97 billion during eleven months of the current fiscal year, which is 50.7 per cent lower than the corresponding period last fiscal year.
According to the statistics of the Trade and Export Promotion Centre (TEPC), import of gold dropped by 56.9 per cent to Rs. 13.63 billion and silver by 37.9 per cent to Rs. 9.34 billion during the review period compared to corresponding period last year.
The country imported gold worth Rs. 31.64 billion and silver worth Rs. 15.03 billion in the fiscal year 2018/19.
In terms of quantity, around 2,400 kilogram of gold and 142,202 kilogram of silver was imported during the review period. Around 7,000 kilogram gold and 260,000 kilogram of silver was imported in the corresponding period of last year.
The import of gold and silver to the country has decreased because of the reduction in their demand following the rise of price, said Tej Ratan Shakya, gold trader and special member of the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers’ Association (FENEGOSIDA).
Due to an increase in the price, the import of gold has been badly affected for around five months of the first eleven months of the current fiscal year, he said.
“The banks did not import gold in Shrawan and Bhadra, beginning of the current fiscal year as FENEGOSIDA recommended the banks to hold gold import due to decline in its demand,” he said.
Similarly, the import of gold has stopped during the lockdown which also resulted in the fall in the import of gold this year.
The government has enforced lockdown since March 24 to prevent and control the COVID-19.
The demand for gold has decreased this year as the price of gold has increased by 50 per cent compared to end of the last fiscal year.
The price of gold has now reached at around Rs. 91,000 per tola from Rs. 60,000 a year ago.
“Around 330 kilogram of gold is still in stock of the banks at present. So, the banks will not import gold before clearing the stock. The traders are also not collecting the yellow metal at present,” he said.
The government has allowed the banks to import 10 kilogram of gold on a daily basis to meet the demand.
The government has reduced the gold import quota to 10 kilogram from 20 kilogram in March after the enforcement of lockdown.
The transaction of gold has remained almost zero even after the opening of the market following the relaxation of lockdown, he said.
“Consumers are not in a position to purchase gold due to its high price at a time when they are facing problems to manage everyday life during this abnormal situation created by COVID-19 pandemic,” he said.