The rumors and speculation of an Indian gold import ban (or even an outright ban on gold ownership) have sparked panic-buying of the precious metal sending retail premia soaring at local jewelers. In an effort to quell the 'uproar', a top Indian finance minister has confirmed the government is not considering an plans to restrict holdings of gold by individuals.
As a reminder, Acting-Man.com's Pater Tenebrarum notes that in the recent past, India's government has also launched several initiatives aimed at reducing gold purchases by Indian citizens. For one thing, it is asserted that the gold hoards held by citizens are "unproductive" and a sign of India's backwardness that needs to be eradicated in the name of modernization. Another official reason is that government wants to lower the country's trade deficit. Since India isn't producing much gold, it is importing quite a lot; in recent years gold imports oscillated around 700 tons per year.