Gold import falls nearly 53% to $4.97 billion in April-July
Gold imports more than halved to $4.97 billion in the first four months of the current fiscal, which is expected to keep a lid on the current account deficit (CAD).
The sliding prices of the precious metal in both global and domestic markets are seen as a contributory factor for the 52.5% decline.
Gold imports stood at $10.47 billion in April-July of 2015.
The in-bound shipments contracted for the sixth consecutive month in July by 63.65% to $1.07 billion, according to Commerce Ministry data.
The contraction in imports helped narrow trade deficit to $7.76 billion last month as against $13 billion in July 2015.
India is one of the largest gold importers in the world and the imports mainly take care of demand of the jewellery industry.
India's CAD narrowed to 1.3% of gross domestic product (GDP) in the third quarter (Q3) of 2015-16 as against 1.5% in the same period of the previous year, primarily due to a lower trade deficit.
With an aim to monetise gold lying idle in households and temples, the government netted 3.1 tonnes of the metal under the sovereign gold bond scheme since its launch in November.
As per the data, silver imports too went down by 80% to $54.58 million in July as against $277.6 million in the same month last year.
However, in-bound shipments of pearls, precious and semi-precious stones grew 16.3% in July.