ALSO READIndia gold imports to plunge during Diwali, Dussehra after pre-GST buys India's May gold imports surge 4-times from year ago: GFMS After Q1 spike, gold imports to drop sharply under GST, says WGC Gold imports shrink 13.5% to $27.4 bn in FY17 Gold imports fall 32% to $17.7 billion in April-Dec 2016
Recording nearly three-fold rise, India's gold imports increased to $4.95 billion in May.
According to the Reserve Bank, the precious metal's imports saw a surge initially on account of seasonal and festival demand but subsequently due to stockpiling in anticipation of the goods and services tax (GST) rollout.
Gold imports stood at $1.47 billion in May last year, as per official data released today.
The surge in the imports last month contributed to the widening of trade deficit to a 30-month high of $13.84 billion as against $6.27 billion in May 2016.
Silver imports too jumped to $442.9 million in May from $39.54 million in the same month last year.
India is the world's second biggest gold consumer after China. The imports mainly take care of demand by the jewellery industry.
At present, gold import attracts 10 per cent duty. The gems and jewellery industry along with the commerce ministry has time and again urged the finance ministry to consider a cut in the import duty.
High imports of the precious metal could impact the CAD numbers.
The current account deficit (CAD) soared to $3.4 billion, or 0.6 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP), in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2017, from $0.3 billion a year ago.