India's gold imports fell 40.31 percent to USD 2.49 billion in March, which is expected to keep a lid on the current account deficit (CAD).
Total imports of the precious metal in the corresponding period of 2016-17 stood at USD 4.17 billion, according to Commerce Ministry data.
According to industry experts, softening prices of the precious metal in the global markets could be the reason for the decline in the value of imports.
The imports had recorded negative growth in January and February as well.
India is one of the largest gold importers in the world and the shipments mainly take care of the jewellery industry demand.
Silver imports, however, grew by 31 percent to USD 267.33 million in March.
At present, gold import attracts 10 percent duty. The gems and jewellery industry along with the Commerce Ministry have time and again urged the Finance Ministry to consider reducing the import duty.
The CAD more than doubled to 1.9 percent of GDP in the April-December 2017 period from 0.7 percent in the corresponding period of 2016-17 due to wider trade deficit.