Gold loan norms

With reference to ‘IIFL Finance fallout: RBI relooking gold loans norms’ (May 15), it is only prudent that the central bank is reviewing the rules and regulations governing gold loans. The proposal to dispense with cash disbursals and routing the loans through a bank account would effectively curb the violations in compliance of statutory regulations in this regard by lenders. However, to stipulate that gold value assessment be done based on the monthly average of Bombay Bullion Rate (BBR) would do great injustice to the customers, as the gold rates vary vastly from region to region and customers deserve to get loan in direct proportion to the rate prevailing in their region, subject to the regulatory cap, as they have purchased the gold from the local market at local rates. With regard to the issue of proper assaying of the underlying gold, rules and regulations may be framed stipulating that lenders engage qualified gold assayers duly certified by institutions such as Bharat Sevak Samaj, Indian Gold Institute, etc.

Kosaraju Chandramouli


PM-Kisan is beneficial

In his interview, J Nandakumar, a former Secretary in both the agriculture and food ministries, said that farmers need income support and added that the PM-Kisan scheme is a game-changer. One feels that the government can increase the scheme amount from the present ₹6,000 per year to ₹10,000 per year. Since majority of the Indian farmers live hand-to-mouth and are indebted, the PM-Kisan scheme can ameliorate their economic condition to a great extent.

S Ramakrishnasayee


PSBs scaling up

This refers to ‘PSBs up their game, draw up action points to stem market share loss’ (May 15). Given the growing competition in the banking space, focused attention is imperative to achieve the intended results. PSBs must review customer services, their business models and the products and services to ascertain the shortcomings to initiate remedial measures to ensure business growth. The retention of customers, besides bringing back the loyal customers of yesteryear, is of paramount importance. As growing cyber frauds and the lack of financial and digital literacy among middle-aged and senior citizens are posing challenges, PSBs must pay concerted attention to address the issues to sustain the confidence of those customers.

Low-cost deposits are crucial for the growth of profitability and the resource points need to be in close touch with the marketing team.

The credit needs of MSMEs and the agriculture sector are growing. The personnel who are contacting the prospective borrowers must understand their business requirements and look to customise the various loan products.

VSK Pillai

Changanacherry, Kerala

Stock market and polls

Elections are a huge event for the stock market. Many policy decisions will be made by the next government. The market does not like unpredictability and, therefore, the rise in the VIX numbers. This should make the investor wary. The Home Minister has further stirred the pot asking the public to buy because the ruling party is set to bag 400-plus seats. Apparently not many have taken to the advice as the indices do not reflect any serious buying.

Anthony Henriques