Many Indian jewelers have voluntarily agreed to ban sales of gold coins and bars for six months, following the global gold prices drop. The move is intended to help the country reduce its massive current account deficit, of which gold is the second largest item on the import bill.
The All India Gems and Jewelry Trade Federation, which has more than 40,000 members, said in a statement on Wednesday that more than 65 percent of jewelers have agreed to the ban on the sale of gold bars and coins, which account for about 35 percent of total business, according to Money Control, a personal finance news portal.
"The jewelry community is one in supporting the country in times of crisis. We are happy to help with this voluntary action," Haresh Soni, chairman of the federation, said in the statement.
India’s current account deficit hit a record high of 4.8 percent of GDP in the fiscal year ended March 31.
The government has increased the import duty to 8 percent, and the central bank has tightened availability of supplies in an effort to rein in imports, which hit a record 162 tons in May, Money Control reported.