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Gold imports seen at $38 billion to $40 billion in FY14 - Rangarajan

An employee explains the bill to a customer as gold bangles are placed on top of it inside a jewellery showroom in Mumbai August 30, 2013. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui/Files

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Gold imports are likely to be around $38 billion to $40 billion in the current fiscal year to March 31, 2014, C. Rangarajan, the economic adviser to the prime minister, said on Friday.

That would be down from last fiscal year's $53.8 billion in imports, which helped push India's current account deficit to a record 4.8 percent of gross domestic product.

In its report on the economy, the prime minister's economic advisory council, headed by Rangarajan, has projected gold and silver imports at $40 billion in the current fiscal year, of which gold imports alone would account for $38 billion.

The government and central bank have taken tough steps to curb demand in the world's biggest buyer of bullion, including raising import duty to a record 10 percent and making importers sell 20 percent of all purchases into the export market.

(Reporting by Rajesh Kumar Singh and Manoj Kumar; Editing by Malini Menon and Clarence Fernandez)