New Delhi: Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sithraman on Saturday said the Government was not against the purchase of gold but it wants to encourage people to opt for what is available in the country and homemade products.
"I am not against the purchasing of gold for investment or wearing it during a function. If it is available in India then purchase it and make the job done and export it, the product would remain intact and we would not touch it.
"But importing it just for the thirst for gold, nothing is wrong. People need to pay more. We have several minerals but not gold. Once we had gold but not right now," Ms. Sitharaman told a group of journalists.
The Government has increased the customs duty on gold and precious metals from 10 percent to 12.5 percent.
Asking about increasing 5 percent custom duty on imported books, the Finance Minister said with this move the government has given the Indian publishing houses an opportunity to work for 'Make in India'.
"India has equally enough number of publishing houses and printing presses who can publish books at cheap rates. But why they sit idle just because the books are coming from outside. We are giving them an opportunity to compete. At least for some time, we should allow them to work on this."
On printing press, she said they are now largely available in India and should be utilized fully.
On Friday, Ms. Sitharaman had presented her maiden Budget in Parliament.