Muscat - It just got cheaper for people in Oman and the other GCC countries to buy gold. The Indian government recently raised import duties on gold to 12.5 percent, up from 7.5 percent, and Shamlal Ahamed, managing director of international operations at Malabar Gold and Diamonds, said this move has made buying gold comparatively more affordable in the Gulf region.

“The recent announcement by the Indian government to raise import duty to 12.5 percent from 7.5 percent is expected to make gold more expensive across India,” he said.

“This hike has increased the gold price difference between the GCC and India. The gold price in the GCC will get more attractive than in India, with a saving of 12 to 15 percent. The weakening Rupee will further increase the gold rate in India.

“Gold prices have reduced to consumer-friendly levels in the GCC and it is the perfect time for customers to make use of this opportunity to benefit from the gold rate ahead of the holiday season, and buy jewellery as gifts for dear ones back home,” Shamlal Ahamed added.

“We are also expecting tourists from India to increase their jewellery purchases during their visit. The price advantage here will further enhance bridal jewellery purchases from residents and tourists alike.”

India’s gold import duty hike came into effect on 1 July. The country is the second-largest consumer of gold, and fulfills a large portion of its demands through imports.

The upward revision in the import duty is seen as a measure to disincentivise imports amidst the widening trade deficit.
India’s trade deficit widened to a record $24.29 billion in May 2022 from $6.53 billion in the same month last year, as per data released by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

After the announcement of the import duty hike, gold prices on the Multi Commodity Exchange of India rose over two per cent to INR51,600 for every 10 grammes, according to ANI.

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