Gold imports, which have a bearing on the current account deficit, zoomed to about $24 billion during April-September 2021 due to higher demand in the country, according to data from the Commerce Ministry.
Imports of the yellow metal was $6.8 billion in the corresponding period last year, the data showed.
Gold imports during September this year too rose to $5.11 billion as against $601.4 million in the same month last year.
On the other hand, silver imports dipped by 15.5 per cent to $619.3 million during April-September this fiscal. However, during September, these imports jumped to $552.33 million as against $9.23 million in September 2020.
A significant jump in the gold imports has led to a record widening of the country's trade deficit, the difference between imports and exports, to $22.6 billion during September this fiscal as against $2.96 billion in the year-ago period.
India is the largest importer of gold, which mainly caters to the demand of the jewellery industry. In volume terms, the country imports 800-900 tonnes of gold annually.
Gems and jewellery exports increased to $19.3 billion during the first half of the current fiscal as against $8.7 billion in the same period the previous year.
(With inputs from PTI)