Indias gold import witnessed a fall of about 24 per cent to USD 23.22 billion in April- February period of the last fiscal, which is expected to keep a lid on the current account deficit.
Total import of the precious metal in the corresponding period of 2015-16 stood at USD 30.71 billion.
According to industry experts, softening prices of gold in the domestic and world markets could be the reason for the same.
The contraction in import helped in narrowing the trade deficit to USD 95.2 billion during the 11-month period of 2016-17 as against USD 114.3 billion in the same period of the previous fiscal.
However, on a month-on-month basis, gold import jumped to USD 3.48 billion in February as against USD 1.4 billion in the same month last year, according to the commerce ministry data.
India is one of the largest gold importers in the world, and the imports mainly take care of demand from the jewellery industry.
For the full year 2015-16, CAD stood at USD 22.1 billion, or 1.1 per cent of GDP, as against USD 26.8 billion, or 1.3 per cent, in 2014-15.
In volume terms, India imported 560.32 tonnes of gold during April-January period of the last fiscal.
Gold import aggregated to 968.06 tonnes in the entire 2015-16 fiscal and 915.47 tonnes in 2014-15.
At present, gold import attracts 10 per cent duty. The gems and jewellery industry along with the commerce ministry have time and again urged the Finance Ministry to consider cut in the import duty.