National Gold Policy in offing, hints govt

National Gold Policy  in offing, hints govt

The government may introduce the National Gold Policy to find a long-term solution to huge gold imports, instead of relying on ad hoc measures such as raising import duty on the yellow metal.

Additionally, the government may also look at establishing a Gold Board for managing import-export, develop accredited refineries, drive gold monitisation actively and introduce compulsory quality certification of gold.

The idea of a national gold policy was mooted by the World Gold Council in 2014 to help mobilise and monetise an estimated 22,000 tonnes of gold with households and temple vaults into productive use of economic development.

According to sources, the government will set up the Gold Board under the National Gold Policy, and alongside work on development of gold exchanges. “The government’s focus is on a stable gold policy and a gold regulator, because it constitutes an important item in the balance of payment,” they said.

The Finance Ministry held discussions late last year with stakeholders and sought their views on a National Gold Board, a body on the lines of the Financial Stability and Development Council.

The Financial Stability and Development Council comprises all financial market regulators for coordinated oversight. A similar model is being proposed for gold, sources said.

Gold-related policies are also expected to help the gold monetisation scheme launched by the government late last year. The scheme has not picked up pace and has mobilised less than a tonne of gold so far.

In 2015, India’s gold demand rose 2 per cent from a year before to 848.9 tonnes, WGC data released last week showed. The increase comes even as total global gold consumption was little changed in 2015.

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