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Buy Tax-Free Gold From Bhutan: How You Can Purchase Bullion From Neighbouring Country Without Paying Any Duty – News18

Buy Tax-Free Gold From Bhutan: How You Can Purchase Bullion From Neighbouring Country Without Paying Any Duty – News18


Currently, 24-carat gold in India costs Rs 60,490 per 10 grams.

Bhutan has allowed Indians visiting Phuentsholing or Thimphu to buy tax-free gold earlier this year; check how you can buy

For Indians, gold has traditionally been an instrument of saving. The country fulfils more than 90 per cent of its gold demand through imports, and in 2022, brought in about 706 tonnes of gold from abroad. About $36.6 billion were spent on overseas purchases of gold in 2022. In view of this, Bhutan has allowed Indians visiting Phuentsholing or Thimphu to buy tax-free gold.

The decision to allow tax-free gold was taken by the Bhutanese government on February 21 “to mark the double auspicious day (Birth Anniversary of His Majesty The King and Losar, the Bhutanese New Year)” and “to promote tourism”, according to state-run daily Kuensel.

Currently, many Indians visit Dubai and buy gold as it is cheaper there due to lower taxes.

At What Rate Can Indians Buy Gold In Bhutan?

According to the latest prices, 24-carat gold in India costs Rs 60,490 per 10 grams. However, the current gold rate in Bhutan in Bhutanese Ngultrum (BTN) stands at BTN 43,741.90. As one BTN roughly equals one Indian rupee, Indians can buy it at about INR 43,741.90.

What Is The Condition?

To avail the benefit of duty-free gold, Indians will have to pay sustainable development fees (SDF) of Rs 1,200-1,800. You also have to stay at least a night at a tourist-certified hotel by Bhutan’s government.

Tourists will also have to bring US dollars to buy the gold. This is because Bhutan will use the same dollar at zero profit to purchase tax-free gold from international markets.

The SDF was made mandatory in Bhutan in 2022 after its National Assembly enacted a law to make it mandatory for tourists entering Bhutan to pay a tourism tax, known as SDF. Indians need to pay Rs 1,200-1,800 per day per person, and visitors from other countries are required to pay between $65 to $200.

According to Kuensel, “All SDF-paying tourists will be eligible to purchase duty-free gold as long as they spend at least one night at a Department of Tourism-certified hotel. The gold will be available for purchase from March 1, in Thimphu and Phuentsholing.”

Where In Bhutan Can People Buy Tax-Free Gold?

The gold will be sold by duty-free outlets which normally sell luxury items and are owned by the finance ministry.

Apart from being tax-free Bhutan’s Duty Free outlets will not make any profit as the aim is to promote tourism.

How Much Indians Are Allowed To Bring In Duty-Free Foreign Gold?

According to the rules of the Central Board of Indirect Taxes and Customs, an Indian male can bring Rs 50,000 worth of gold (around 20gm) and an Indian woman can bring Rs 1 lakh worth of gold (around 40gm) tax-free into India from abroad.

(This article was originally published on March 10, 2023; this is an updated version with the latest gold prices).



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