Govt's gold deposit schemes attract just 400 grams

Govt's gold deposit schemes attract just 400 grams

Govt's gold deposit schemes attract just 400 grams

The much publicised gold bond and gold deposit schemes launched by the government to help people monetise their gold assets have received lukewarm response.

While the gold deposit scheme has been able to attract less than 500 grams of gold, the gold-bond scheme, which comes to a close on Friday, has received only Rs 10 crore.

“Under the gold monetisation scheme, 400 grams have been deposited so far,” according to Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council's northern region Chairman Anil Sankhwal.

The banks and post offices, however, are hopeful of a last day rush for the gold bond scheme.

The government is planning to open more gold testing centres and rope in more jewellers as collection agents after traders on Thursday met Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikant Das.

Indian households roughly hold 25,000 tonnes of gold. Besides, the government intends to channelise the amount generated through gold bonds to build infrastructure, which, in turn, will provide employment opportunities and increase the disposable income of people.

“We are expecting more people to come forward on the last day,” a post office official said. Post offices have been able to garner only Rs 2 crore through the ambitious gold bond scheme.

Officials also blame lack of publicity for the tepid response. According to them, the gap between the announcement of the schemes and their launch was too little. 

Both, Gold Bond and Gold Monetisation Schemes were launched on November 5. Under the monetisation scheme, banks were authorised to collect gold for up to 15 years to auction them off or lend to jewellers from time to time to discourage import of gold.

Gold bond, which will be issued on November 26, attracts an interest rate of 2.75 per cent.

A similar scheme was launched during 1998-99 but could not take off in a big way because the minimum deposit was 500 grams and the scheme was mainly targeted at big temple trust gold while ignoring the household gold.