Gold & Silver

Now, easy transfer of jewellery to bank gold deposit schemes

Shishir Sinha New Delhi | Updated on August 10, 2014

10 purity verification centres to come up in 6 months

It will soon be easier to deposit gold jewellery under the gold deposit scheme of banks. The MMTC PAMP (a joint venture between public sector MMTC and Swiss company PAMP) plans to set up 10 purity verification centres in five metros in the next six months.

This is part of the company’s plan to tap 25,000 tonnes of gold lying idle with Indian households. On the one hand, this will assist banks’ gold deposit schemes, while on the other, mobilisation of even 5-10 per cent gold a year will provide raw material to nation’s first gold refinery set up by the company on a long-term basis.

These centres will take just 45 minutes to weigh, melt the gold, verify the purity and issue the certificate against 90 days taken at present. The consumer will be witness to the whole process, against the present practice of completing the process (except weighing) in a remote location at Government-owned mint houses or in Switzerland. Once the process is completed in a purity verification centre, the gold will be taken to the company’s refinery near Delhi.

Time slots for verification can be booked online, after which the consumer will get a code and other details via SMS, the company said.

Optimistic take off

“We are discussing our proposal with banks, the Reserve Bank of India and the Finance Ministry. We are optimistic that within six months this should be up and running. Our part of work is done, as we have given the Government a roll-out plan,” Rajesh Khosla, Managing Director of MMTC-PAMP India, told BusinessLine.

The capacity of the refinery is 150 tonnes and it has been accredited by the London Bullion Market Association. The company has been operating two verification centres on trial basis in Delhi for over a year. It now plans to open two centres each in five metros within six months in phase one, expand the network to 20 metros in phase two lasting over the next two years, and finally cover the entire country in phase three. Phase three is a part of long-term vision, Khosla said.

The gold deposit scheme was introduced in 1999 to mobilise the idle gold in the country and to put it into productive use. However, it has not been very successful with less than 10 tonnes being collected. Some reasons for this disappointing performance are lower interest rate and issuance of certificate after three months. “This will bring down imports and will be good for the economy as gold sitting idle in lockers will be put to productive use,” Khosla added.

Published on August 10, 2014

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