It’s a gold rush of a different kind. Tamil Nadu government has invited bid for supply of one lakh gold coins embossed with the state emblem to be disbursed under its five marriage assistance schemes.
Tamil Nadu is perhaps the only state to give away free gold to economically poor women as part of marriage assistance schemes implemented by the Social Welfare and Nutritious Meal Programme Department. The Director of Social Welfare has issued tender recently, seeking prospective dealers to supply one lakh gold coins weighing four gm (each 22 carat) for 32 districts in the state.
Going by the tender, Kanyakumari, Madurai and Tiruchirappalli districts top the allocation at 5000 gold coins each, followed by Salem (4500) and Villupuram (4200).
The tender has not disclosed the sum involved in this multi-crore transaction but has asked the bidders to deposit a refundable Earnest Money Deposit of Rs 1.20 crore, giving ample indications of the sum involved in this massive programme.
The government has laid down a series of stipulations including mandating the financial stability of the bidders, pegging them in the Rs 100-crore club.
“The average annual turnover of the bidder/manufacturer/ Dealer shall be not less than Rs 100 crore per annum in the last successive two financial years,” it stipulated, adding, the supplier should have the capacity to supply at least 25,000 coins with BIS hallmark standards.