Gold Monetization Scheme in India: Speculative Success Story

What is it all about?

People of our country possess a huge amount of gold as we know India is the largest consumer of Gold. So this scheme deals with making the not utilized gold to be transformed into money or we can say it deals with the objective of making Gold productive.

What is expected to happen under this scheme?

People will bring their gold possessions to banks, deposit there and get interest. It is just like we get when we deposit cash in banks. It is at this point where gold is expected to be monetized.

Estimated usefulness..!!

A large amount of gold is blocked in every household. It will come before the government. As we know gold reserves of a country determine its wealthiness. Idle gold lying in people’s house in their almirah, vaults or even bank lockers are of no use unless they pay us something.

People keep gold in bank lockers where they have to pay locker charge. But this scheme is really unique and will prove to be unique if implemented well…as instead of paying they will be getting something is return.

A big question mark here…?? How far will it be successful??

A good thought indeed…it can make wonders in Indian economy..But there are always some flaws..There are many things yet to be revealed and those are on the edge to decide …For example:

  • People in India think buying gold as an auspicious deed so there are less chances of parting from their ornaments.
  • It is said that only raw gold will be accepted..But normally jewellery possessed is in 22carat..24 carat raw gold is a bit tough to find with households.
  • People having emotional attachment with metals and that too gold..Will definitely think a hundred times before entering into such a scheme.
  • The two options of return after maturity..In cash or in gold. According to the scheme, depositors of gold in bank have to opt for any one of the options right at the time of opening the gold account. So here it’s again a point of dilemma for a common man.
  • A person having knowledge about financial economy and who can relate price of gold can still have some relaxation in mind that even I take my return in rupee terms it will not cause me any harm because gold is such an item whose price will definitely rise over a period.
  • But a layman may think that it is risky to opt for any option right now as he may have a fear that I will be in a loss if price of gold at that time of maturity falls. And so there are chances of not coming up with any gold deposit.
  • The mobilized gold might be loaned to jewelers by the banks, to make jewellery, in which case people won’t get back at maturity the same item which they deposited. This is again a problem with people having emotional attachment with their belongings.
  • Now comes the question of Interest rates. As under the scheme it will be set by the banks but still it should be above 3% if at least then depositors get attracted and take the decision to part with their gold items.
  • Another thing is that people may be asked by the banks for proof of ownership of gold which is next to impossible in India because In India gold keeps on transferring from one generation to another. This fact may again opt out people from entering the scheme.

Some points which may attract depositors are:

  • Minimum deposit is very less this time i.e. 30 gms.Earlier the govt. of India had tried but it was all in vain because the minimum deposit was as high as 500 gms which is really difficult for an Indian household to spare.
  • If interest rates are pretty high then only it would act as an attraction to the depositors. Earlier a similar scheme in 1999 failed because the interest rate offered was as low as 0.75%-1%.
  • Tax exemption is another ray of hope which may pull some depositors towards the scheme.

However, the idea to tap the locked gold in Indian household is a wonderful idea and would really create fantastic and outstanding results only if the outline is well bounded and if every norm is made from the middle class people point of view keeping in mind its capacities & capabilities.

After one month it has netted only one kilogram out of 20,000 tonnes of privately held gold. So, the scenario is such that people part from their gold, and gets at most 3% rate of return their investment. Depositors may get both the principal and interest in rupees which has been devalued by the government up to 15% per year.

But am sure Indian Government will not lose hope. There will be some innovative implications to make the gold monetization scheme fruitful.

This blog is written by Anrita Chatterjee, MBA in Financial Planning (2015-2017) batch.

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