Fact Check: Bhutan Government Is Not Offering Gold 50% Cheaper Than In India; Viral Claim Is FAKE

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A video has gone viral on social media, claiming that the Bhutan government is selling duty-free gold by 50% cheaper than in India to attract foreign tourists to their country. The post claims that in India, the price of 10 grams gold is ₹58,000, whereas Bhutan sells the same quantity of gold for 28,000 BTN.

A Facebook user shared this video and wrote, “Cheapest gold in this country, Terms and conditions to buy tax-free gold from Bhutan.”

Image Credit: Facebook

This post can be seen here. See other similar posts here, here and here.

FACT CHECK

NewsMobile fact-checked the above claim and found it to be FAKE.

The NM team first searched the official gold prices (24k) in both countries as on August 08, 2023, as per India(INR) and Bhutan(BTN) currency exchange rates which are almost equal (1 Indian rupee = 1 BTN). According to the Indian Bullion and Jewellery Association, the price of 24 KT gold in India is ₹59,330 (exclusive taxes). On the other hand, according to the Royal Monetary Authority of Bhutan, the price of 24 kt gold on August 8, is 54,434 BTN. Also, the price of 22 KT gold in India is ₹57,910 while in Bhutan, it stands for 47,060 BTN.

Gold price comparison

Searching further, our team identified a scheme launched by the Bhutan government. The scheme is: To mark the double auspicious day (Birth Anniversary of His Majesty The King and Losar, the Bhutanese New Year), the Department of Tourism (DoT) in partnership with Bhutan Duty-Free (BDF) will sell limited quantities of duty-free gold for SDF-paying tourists.

Eligibility for this are as follows:

  • Must be a tourist who pays Sustainable Development Fee (SDF). The fee for Indian tourists is ₹1,200 per person per day.
  • Stay at least one night in hotels recognised by the Government of Bhutan.
  • Gold should be bought in US dollars only.
  • The gold will be available for purchase from March 1, in Thimphu and Phuentsholing.
Image Credit: kuenselonline.com

However, there is a catch. According to rules, Indians returning after staying abroad for more than a year can bring 20 grams of gold (less than ₹50,000) for men and 40 grams (less than ₹1 lakh) for women into India free of customs duty. If the gold import is beyond the permissible limit, one has to pay import duty and other taxes ranging from 15-38.5%.

So, there is absolutely no truth in the viral video’s claim that Indians will get a 50% discount on gold purchases.

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