Gold imports, which have a bearing on the current account deficit, declined 47.42% to $ 9.28 billion during April-October due to fall in demand in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to data from the Commerce Ministry. Imports of the yellow metal stood at $ 17.64 billion in the corresponding period of 2019-20.
The imports, however, recorded a growth of about 36% in October.Silver imports during the period too dipped 64.65% to $ 742 million.
The fall in gold and silver imports has helped in narrowing the country's trade deficit, difference between imports and exports, to $ 32.16 billion during April-October 2020-21 as against $ 100.67 billion in the year-ago period.
India is the largest importer of gold, which mainly caters to demand of jewellery industry. In volume terms, the country imports 800-900 tonne of gold annually.
Gems and jewellery exports declined by about 49.5% to $ 11.61 billion in April-October 2020.