Addressing a media conference in New Delhi, Sharma said he had taken up the issue with Finance Minister P Chidambaram and asked for easing the curbs. "We have to have a balance. Over-regulation, too much of tariffs, lead to another problem. It leads to smuggling," he said.
Sharma said gems and jewellery industry, a major contributor to India's exports, has been hit by the gold import curbs. "We have to ensure adequate availability of gold for the gems and jewellery industry, which is a very important sector for our exports," he said.
Last year, the government hiked import duty on gold to a record high of 10 percent and put a number of other curbs, in a bid to discourage imports of the precious metal. High gold imports had pushed the country's current account deficit to a record high of over USD 88 billion in the financial year 2012-13. Chidambaram last month said the current account deficit is likely to come down to $45 billion in the current financial year ending March 31, largely due to lower gold imports.