India central bank modifies some gold import rules

MUMBAI Wed May 21, 2014 11:14am EDT

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MUMBAI May 21 (Reuters) - The Indian central bank on Wednesday eased some restrictions on gold imports that were imposed last year to counter a steep rise in the country's current account deficit.

The Reserve Bank of India allowed "star trading houses", private jewellery exporters which had been barred from importing gold since July 2013, to resume imports, with immediate effect, it said in a statement.

India raised the gold import duty last year to 10 percent from 4 percent and also mandated that 20 percent of imported gold be exported, known as the 80:20 rule. On Wednesday, it allowed banks to lend gold to domestic jewellery makers from the 80 percent quota. (Reporting by Suvashree Dey Choudhury and Siddesh Mayenkar; Editing by Robin Pomeroy)

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