Dr. Guruprasad Mohapatra, Secretary, DPIIT held a video meeting with officials from the GJEPC, Association of Gold Refineries and Mints (AGRM), IBJA, and GJC to discuss attracting foreign investment in gold refining on 11th August, 2020.
Rajesh Khosla of AGRM gave the background presentation of gold refining, highlighting all the issues being faced by the refiners in operating a business under present circumstances. He noted that the domestic market is in distress, jewellers/refiners are struggling with working capital, finished inventory plus inability to maintain the long-term contracts.
The primary issues put forth were:
- Reducing duty on imported gold dore from 11.85% to 11%
- Need for Port-wise Assessment instead of Faceless Assessment for Customs clearance of gold dore
- Single bond for import of all consignments
- Dissimilar Customs norms for gold in bullion and dore form
- Imported gold dore may be as per the packing list and assay certificate issued by a government-authorised aggregator or exporter or miner
- Enabling export of refined bullion to banks overseas
- Need for consistent policies in this domain and reduction of market disparity
- Permit advance payment mechanism for gold dore
- Provide bank finance (term and working capital) for small refiners
- Allow import of gold dore on consignment basis
- Follow international guidelines for sourcing & regulating import
- Consider raw material remittance norms
- Allow banks to purchase Indian refined gold
- Government-sponsored body should enter into joint ventures with artisanal and small-scale miners (ASMs) to reduce risks
- Establish a Good Delivery Standard modelled on the lines of LBMA
- Make change in standards applicable only to gold dore importing refineries
The Secretary, DPIIT, concluded that the long-term future lies in refining. He recommended a meeting with the Department of Mining, DPIIT and DoC to discuss the gold mining policy, and Invest India should organise a round table with prospective investors who are interested in gold mining in India.
Caption: A refiner at Rio Tinto’s gold mine in Nevada, USA Credit Anthony B. Bannister- Newscast/ © Rio Tinto