Govt mobilises 2.8 tonnes of gold through Gold Monetisation Scheme

The government has so far collected 2.8 tonnes of gold under the Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS), which has been in operation for a little over six months, Parliament was informed on Tuesday.

"Gold Monetisation Scheme, which was announced in the Union Budget 2015-16, was launched on 5 November 2015, and a total of 2.8 tonnes of gold have so far been deposited by 105 depositors under this scheme," minister of state for finance Jayant Sinha said in a written reply to the Rajya Sabha.

"Temples and trusts have so far deposited a total of 1,512 kg of gold under the scheme."

The scheme is intended to mobilise idle gold held by households and temple trusts in the country and facilitate its use for productive and business purposes, thereby decreasing reliance on imports to meet the country's consumption needs.

The country imports about 1,000 tonnes of gold annually, making it the second major component of its import bill after crude oil, while an estimated 20,000 tonnes of gold are lying with households and temples.

The scheme, however, had to be fine-tuned more than once to make it more attractive and convenient for both holders of idle gold and banks accepting these.

The government had since increased the number of gold assaying and hallmarking centres that are qualified to act as collection and purity testing centres (CPTCs) for handling gold under GMS to 46.