Free Press Journal

Govt floats idea of country’s first gold exchange


Big Set of Gold bars. Close up Image

Mumbai: Centre today floated an idea of a gold exchange, a transparent platform where jewellers can buy and sell the precious metal locally instead of depending on the international market. “This is just an idea… can we think of a gold exchange where there can be transparent trading. A platform where those who have surplus gold can sell it to those in requirement,” Shaktikanta Das Secretary Department of Economic Affairs Ministry of Finance said.

“There is a jeweller who needs gold temporarily, so instead of importing he can buy it locally,” Das said addressing the third India International Bullion Summit organised by Indian Bullion & Jewellery Association here. On the recently-launched gold monetisation scheme, he said, “It is too early to give a verdict… and the government is committed to make a success of the scheme. It is not easy to convince people to part with their jewellery, which has emotional value attached to it.

“We need to change this mind set and understand the psyche of the people,” Das added. Asking the industry to give suggestion to make this scheme a success, he said, “there are huge challenges and there is a need to involve a lot of jewellers, who can talk to their traditional customers and bring them into the gold monetisation scheme.”

He informed the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) has invited applications from over 13,000 licenced jewellers to act as a Collection and Purity Testing Centres (CPTCs) in the scheme, provided they have tie-up with BIS licenced refiners. Early November, the Centre launched two gold schemes, sovereign gold bond and gold monetisation, with a view to contain bullion imports, which have been a big drain on the foreign exchange reserves. These schemes were aimed at bringing down the physical demand for gold or jewellery.

While the maiden sovereign bond scheme has been a success the demand for paper gold coming in at Rs 246 crore the monetisation scheme has been a big flop with only under 500 grams worth of jewellery being monetised. About the Gold Bond, he said, 63,000 applications amounting to Rs 246 crore have been received.