Milpitas Nov 09,2012-North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) in a press release issued here today urged the Govt of India to wave the custom duty on import of gold. Releasing this statement NAPA President and spokesperson Mr Satnam Singh Chahal said that air travellers arriving in India are made to pay customs duty even for their wedding rings and mangal sutras due to the hike in gold .NAPA has asked the government to amend the present custom duty rules. Mr Chahal said that as per current rules, a man can bring in Rs 10,000-worth of gold and a woman can bring gold worth Rs 20,000. As per the market value, this is equivalent to 3 grams and 6 grams respectively.
Since a wedding ring or mangalsutra is likely to weigh much more than this limit, passengers have to declare and pay import duty for them. Passengers are regularly stopped and either made to pay the tax or keep the excess gold in the custody of Airport Customs and take it back while returning abroad. North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) demanded relaxation of import duty, saying the law was made when the gold was priced at Rs 40 per gram. NAPA had to written to finance Minister P. Chidambaram and overseas affairs minister Vayalar Ravi .Mr Chahal said that In 1960, a male passenger could bring 250 grams of gold and a woman 500 grams without paying tax. India imported a record quantity of gold for domestic consumption over the years, which led to the reintroduction of this duty. When an NRI brings gold into the country, the government is getting sufficient gold without the loss of foreign currency paid for its import. Mr Chahal regretted that Instead of encouraging NRIs to bring gold in, the reintroduction of a law that is half-a-century old, seems to be in place to harass NRIs. As per the law, passengers can import 10 kg of gold by paying duty.