KATHMANDU, June 30:Jewelers have opposed a government decision to bar overseas returnees from bringing raw gold into the country.
They have argued that the decision will impact country's bullion market and promotes smuggling of the yellow metal.
Department of Customs (DoC) last week published a notice, barring Nepalis returning home from foreign land from bringing raw gold and raw silver. The decision will come into effect from July 16.
Existing law allows Nepalis returning home after staying at least six months in a foreign land to bring up to 50 grams of raw gold or 50 grams of golden jewelries without paying customs duty. Once the new law comes into effect, Nepalis cannot bring raw gold. They, however, can get full customs waiver on up to 50 grams of golden jewelries.
Government officials say that the decision will increase flow of gold in the market through banking channel. An official of DoC told Republica that the decision is aimed at controlling smuggling of gold into the country.
Jewelers, however, have termed the decision immature. They also said that it will only increase smuggling of gold into the country. “
"Raw gold brought by overseas returnees has been helping us to meet the demand for gold to some extent as daily import quota of 15 kilograms set by the government cannot meet the deman”," Mani Ratna Shakya, president of Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers Association said. He also said that gold smuggling will increase further as the demand for gold soars.
He also condemned the government decision to give continuity to the provision that allows overseas returnees to bring up to 50 grams gold jewelries without customs duty.