Gold Schemes: A Step To Strengthen Banking Industry

Dear Readers,
We have recently seen our Government launching schemes based on Physical Gold. Thses schemes were aimed at reducing the demand of physical gold and luring the customers to introduce the same in the banking systems. These schemes are also important because it is one of its own kind and it has the capability to reach to the one of the Gold Reserves of the country i.e. Households. In India, the presence of the Gold in the household is huge and this diwali season, Govt wants the consumer to invest gold insted of buying more. Let us discuss the schemes in detail as it may come in upcoming exams.

The three schemes launched by Govt. are:
(i) Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS)
(ii) Gold Sovereign Bond Scheme
(iii) Gold Coin and Bullion Scheme

Prime Minister Modi also unveiled the first ever national gold coin minted in India with the national emblem of Ashok Chakra engraved on it. The Gold Monetisation Scheme is aimed at tapping part of an estimated 20,000 tonnes of idle gold worth Rs. 5,40,000 crore in family lockers and temples into the banking system.

The Gold Sovereign Bond will be issued by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on behalf of the government with an interest rate of 2.75%. The bonds will be sold through banks and designated post offices. Describing the schemes as “sone pe suhaga” (icing on the cake), Modi said gold has often been a source of women’s empowerment in the Indian society, and these schemes will underscore that sense of empowerment.

Gold monetisation scheme (GMS) is a deposit scheme of banks where you will be paid interest on the weight of gold you give. The minimum deposit is 30 grams (of 995 fineness). To make a deposit under this scheme, you need to first get your gold tested from one of the centres certified by BIS. These centres, gold refiners and banks will be in a tripartite agreement. After doing an XRF (x-ray fluorescence) and a fire assay test, you will be told the result. If you still wish to deposit the gold, the centre will give a purity certificate endorsing the weight and purity of gold. You have to then take the certificate to one of the designated banks. In the meantime, the banker will also get intimation from the centre of your gold deposit and he will credit your ‘gold deposit account’ with the equivalent amount of gold. The test centre will send the gold to a refiner who will keep the gold in his warehouse (unless the banks choose to hold it themselves).

This deposit scheme will be available for the short term of one to three years, medium term of five to seven years and long term of 12-15 years. While deposits of all tenures will be run only by banks, for the medium and long-term deposits, the terms and conditions and rate of interest will be fixed by the Central Government. At the end of the deposit period, your deposit, either in cash/gold (medium and long-term deposits will be redeemed only in cash) will be returned to you by the bank. If redeemed in cash, the rupee value of the gold deposit at the prevailing market price will be paid.

“India has surpassed China as world’s largest gold consuming nation with 562 tonnes of buying so far this year,” he added. India’s obsession with gold is rivalled only by China, with the metal used widely in wedding gifts, religious donations and as an investment. Previous attempts at mobilising this gold have been unsuccessful, but PM Modi is hoping higher interest rates paid will help it to succeed this time.

Huge gold imports have pushed India’s current account deficit to a record $190 billion in 2013, prompting the government to hike its duty on imports to a record 10%. Imports fell to an estimated $34 billion in 2014-15, but Modi is looking to cut that further. Investors will have to disclose their permanent account number, registered with the income tax department, if the value of gold is worth more than Rs. 50,000 ($763.53). Some people fear it is a way for the government to keep a tab on the source. Another concern is the likely loss of 20-30% of the weight of jewellery as it is melted at certified centres at the cost of the depositor.

Some Key Features:

Gold Monetization Scheme
  • KYC - a must, but income is tax-free
  • Will be melted, but returned as gold
  • Fixed deposit, but can break it for a fee
  • Interest nominal, but it is on gold weight

Gold Sovereign Bond
  • Earns you interest
  • Minimal charges
  • Better liquidity


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