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Indian government's scheme to paperize citizens' gold has failed

Section: Daily Dispatches

Centre's Gold Bond Scheme Fails to Glitter

By Annapurna Singh
Deccan Herald, Bangalore, India
Sunday, January 20, 2019

The central government's ambitious plan to mobilise an estimated 22,000 tonnes of gold lying idle with households appears to have fallen flat, with its own statistics showing that the collection has nearly halved to merely 6,500 kilograms in 2017-2018 from close to 11,500 kilograms in 2016-2017.

The sovereign gold bond scheme was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2015. Since then the authorities have barely collected 23 tonnes of gold.

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The government has issued sovereign gold bonds worth Rs 6,661.42 crore for 22.88 tonnes till March 2018, according to the latest report released on the Centre's debt management.

Now the government's policy think tank Niti Aayog has suggested that the scheme be made more attractive.

The sovereign gold bond is a government security denominated in grams of gold. The idea behind its launch was to migrate investment from physical gold to paper gold. ...

However, the gold bond, which comes with a five-year lock-in period, has not been able to replace physical gold buying. The overall maturity of the scheme is eight years and one has to pay capital tax on redeeming it before maturity. The scheme offers no liquidity to its buyer. ...

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