In the last 21 years, Indians have spent an astonishing $500 billion on gold imports alone, according to Mutual fund industry veteran Nilesh Shah. The part-time member of the Economic Advisory Council to the PM (EACPM) stated that this habit of importing gold has hindered India’s progress towards achieving Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s $5 trillion GDP target.
Indians have spent a staggering $375 billion on gold imports on a net basis in the last 21 years, said Mr. Shah. He also pointed out the rampant smuggling of gold, which is evidenced by Customs’ gold seizures on a regular basis. Furthermore, Mr. Shah noted that people come back with gold jewellery from destinations like Dubai and successfully walk out of the Green Channel at the port of landing, contributing to this problem.
Mr. Shah emphasized that if the money traditionally invested in gold had been invested in Indian entrepreneurs like the Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas, Wadia, and Adani, India’s GDP growth and per capita GDP could have been significantly higher. By investing in these companies instead of buying gold, India would have become a $5 trillion economy much earlier than it currently is working towards achieving its goal.