'MMTC to import 200 tonnes Gold this fiscal'

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New Delhi, May 8 (ANI): MMTC's Chairman and Managing Director Sanjiv Batra on Friday said that the MMTC Ltd, which is the country's top gold importer, is likely to import 200 tonnes of gold in the current fiscal.India's 2009/10 (April-March) gold imports stood at 739 tonnes, of which MMTC's imports accounted for 190 tonnes.

"Gold import in the country, in January -March India imported 240 tonnes. Last year in the same period, in the January -March (quarter), the country imported 30 tonnes. So gold import is eight times more as compared to last year. Because last time, because of economic crisis, people were depressed and (now) economy is doing well and the share market is going down for last few days, so that motivates people to buy more gold," said Batra, on the sidelines of a Gold Festival in New Delhi.

On Friday, gold traded at 1,198 dollars an ounce in the overseas markets, easing after flirting with record levels in the previous day, and showing a rise of 10 percent this year.

However, in India, local prices have been under last year's record highs owing to a stronger rupee against the dollar.

MMTC's Gold Festival saw brisk sales ahead of the Hindu festival of Akshaya Tritiya.

"My mom is very south Indian, so she actually likes this coin, the sort of luxury coin that they sell. And I saw it here today so actually I am thinking of giving her a coin," said Sameera Reddy, Bollywood actor.

"This is supposed to be a very auspicious occasion (Akshaya Tritiya), especially for Indians all over. And gold bought during this time is supposed to be good for ladies especially," said Sweeny Khurana, a customer.

Akshaya Tritiya, falling on the third day of the bright half of the lunar month of Vaisakha of the traditional Hindu calendar, is one of the four most auspicious days of the year for Hindus.

This year Akshaya Tritiya will be celebrated on May 16. By Damanjeet Kohli (ANI)

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