No sale of gold in post offices, decides the Ministry of Finance
India Post had sought to sell gold coins at a time when the government was discouraging commercial banks from selling gold coins. The Ministry of Finance canceled the tender. “The tender is canceled,” Finance Minister P Chidambaram said during a press briefing after the launch of Mahila Bank on Tuesday.
India imported 850 tonnes of gold worth around $ 58 billion. This, among other factors, caused the current account deficit of the balance of payments to reach an all-time high of 4.8% of GDP. Gold imports are estimated to have fallen to around 800 tonnes so far this year.
The government has sought to contain gold imports by increasing import duties from 10% to 8%. It also banned imports of gold coins and medallions. In August, the finance ministry also banned banks from selling gold coins.
India Post, however, clarified that it had launched the tender for the sale of non-imported gold coins and not imported gold coins. The case took a political turn with members of opposition parties asking for clarification on the government’s position on the case.