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Govt mobilises 3.1 tonnes of gold under monetisation scheme

Under the Gold Monetisation Scheme, banks are authorised to collect gold for up to 15 years to auction them off or lend to jewellers from time to time.

twitter-logo PTI   New Delhi     Last Updated: July 15, 2016  | 13:16 IST
Photo: Reuters

Government on Thursday said it has netted 3.1 tonnes of idle household and temple gold under the monetisation scheme since its launch in November 2015.

"As of now 3.1 tonnes of gold (has been) deposited under the Gold Monetisation Scheme," Joint Secretary in Finance Ministry Saurabh Garg said.

This is much lower than 800-1,000 tonnes of annual gold import, he said, adding that estimates say 300 tonnes are for investments, while the balance is jewellery.

"We are hoping that the investment part can shift to the Gold Monetisation Scheme," he added.

Under the scheme, banks are authorised to collect gold for up to 15 years to auction them off or lend to jewellers from time to time.

Depositors will earn up to 2.50 per cent interest per annum, a rate lower than savings bank deposits.

Currently, there are 46 assaying and hallmarking centres which are qualified to act as Collection and Purity Testing Centres (CPTC) for handling gold under the scheme.

All gold deposits under the scheme have to be made at CPTCs. Banks can also accept deposits at designated branches, especially from larger depositors.

India imports about 1,000 tonnes of gold every year and the precious metal is the second highest component of the imports bill after crude oil. An estimated 20,000 tonnes of gold are lying with households and temples.

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