Money & Banking

FinMin asks banks to promote gold scheme

Surabhi New Delhi | Updated on January 22, 2018

BL04_P2_GOLD

Lenders also told to discuss programme with temple trusts

The Finance Ministry has asked banks to aggressively promote the Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) with retail customers and also discuss it with temple trusts that have hefty gold reserves.

The Centre is leaving no stone unturned to make a success of the scheme, which has not generated enough public interest and received just 400 grams of deposits after two weeks of launch.

Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das had, on Tuesday, held a meeting with officials from the Reserve Bank of India as well as banks to fine-tune the Gold Deposit Scheme (GDS). It is understood that they also discussed the concerns of State-owned banks over offering attractive interest rates on the scheme.

Sources said banks were told that the issue of interest rate would be looked into once the GDS becomes more popular.

“This was the second such meeting and it was to iron out the wrinkles in the scheme due to which it has not taken off. The objective is to try and popularise it on the lines of the financial inclusion programme, which was also of special interest to the Prime Minister,” said two persons familiar with the development.

Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on November 5, the GMS aims to mobilise at least a part of the 20,000 tonne of idle gold in the country by encouraging individuals to deposit a minimum of 30 grams of gold bullion or jewellery into a gold deposit account and earn interest on it.

The RBI has given banks a free hand in deciding the interest rate for the scheme, which will have varying maturities of short-, medium- and long-term.

To popularise the scheme, the Finance Ministry had last week said it would soon issue a circular clarifying that exemptions from income tax and capital gains tax would be available to the customers.

It had also announced that customers would be allowed to deposit gold directly with the banks, without taking it to the Collection and Purity Testing Centres (CPTCs), if allowed by the banks. As many as 55 CTPCs would also be registered by the end of the month and would help investors check the purity of their gold.

Published on December 03, 2015

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