Nilesh Shah, a part-time member of the Economic Advisory Council to the PM, has spoken out about the negative impact of India’s gold import habits on its economic growth. He stated that if it weren’t for the prevalence of this habit, India could have achieved Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s $5 trillion GDP target much earlier.
According to Mr. Shah, in the last 21 years, Indians have spent around $500 billion on gold imports alone. He also highlighted the rampant smuggling of gold, as evidenced by Customs’ regular gold seizures. Furthermore, he noted that people often bring back gold jewelry from destinations like Dubai and successfully clear customs without any issues.
Mr. Shah emphasized that if the money traditionally invested in gold were instead invested in Indian entrepreneurs like the Tatas, Ambanis, Birlas, Wadias, and Adanis, India’s GDP growth and per capita GDP could have been significantly higher. Therefore, he urged Indians to think twice before investing in gold and consider alternative investment options that can contribute positively to their country’s economic development.