Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme Current Affairs

Fourth tranche of Sovereign Gold Bond scheme opened for subscription

The fourth tranche of the Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGB) scheme opened for subscription.

SGB is government securities denominated in grams of gold. It offers an alternative to holding gold in physical form. The scheme was launched by the Union Government in October 2015.

Government has fixed 3,119 Rupees per gram as the issue price for the bond in this tranche. The scheme will be open till 22 July 2016.

Key Facts

  • The bond can be purchased from the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
  • Besides, all Bank branches and select Post Offices and Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited will also issue it.
  • In this tranche minimum subscription has been reduced to 1 gram and maximum at 500 gram per person or institution. Earlier, the minimum denomination was 5 gram.
  • The SGB bonds can be converted into demat form and can be used as collateral for availing loans. Redemption of SGB bonds by an individual is exempted from capital gains tax.
  • SGB gives an interest of 2.75 per cent per annum and is payable every six months on initial investment.
  • Government will use the funds raised through these bonds as part of its market borrowing programme.

Background

  • Through this scheme Government aims to attract a large number of investors to curb the demand for physical gold, mainly imported in large quantities leading to draining the country’s foreign exchange.
  • Thus it will keep a lid on the country’s current account deficit as gold imports are the second-biggest constituent of the import bill after crude oil.
  • The first 3 tranches of SGB Scheme had attracted an investment of 1,318 crore rupees, equivalent to 4.9 tons of gold at the then prevailing prices.

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Union Government launches Three Gold Schemes

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched three gold related scheme viz Gold Monetization Scheme (GMS), Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme (SGBS) and Indian Gold Coins (IGC).

These ambitious schemes were launched to reduce the physical demand for gold and fish out 20,000 tonnes of the precious metal lying idle with households and institutions.

Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) 2015

  • GMS 2015 will offer option to resident Indians to deposit their precious metal and earn an interest on it and will replace the existing Gold Deposit Scheme (GDS) 1999.
  • All residents can invest in this scheme but are subjected to Know Your Customer (KYC) Scheme.
  • Scheme tagline: Earn, while you secure.
  • Implementation: As per Reserve Bank of India (RBI) directives all Scheduled Commercial Banks (excluding Regional Rural Banks) will implement GMS 2015.
  • Deposit limit: Minimum deposit at any one time of raw gold in the forms of bars, coins, jewellery excluding stones and other metals is 30 grams with 995 fineness. There is no maximum limit for the deposit.
  • Tenure: Banks will accept gold deposits under the Short Term of Bank Deposit (STBD) of 1-3 years, Medium (5-7 years) and Long (12-15 years).
  • Principal and Interest of the deposit: Banks are free to fix the interest rates and it will be denominated in gold.

Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme (SGBS) 2015

  • Seeks to shift part of physical gold in form of bars and coins for investment into Demat (Dematerialised) gold bonds in order to reduce the demand for physical gold.
  • These gold bonds are interest bearing and will be payable in terms of grams of gold.
  • Scheme tagline: Invest wisely. Earn Safely.
  • Minimum investment: 2 grams of physical gold; Maximum investment: 500 grams.
  • Issuing Bonds: RBI on behalf of Union Government will issue the Gold bonds in the denominations of one gram and its multiples.
  • Tenure of Gold bonds: 8 years is maximum tenure. But there is exit option from 5th year can be exercised on interest payments dates.
  • Tradable and Exchangeable: These bonds are available in DEMAT and paper form. It can be tradable in stock exchange and can be used as collateral for loans.

Indian Gold Coin 2015

  • It is Indian’s first ever Indian gold coin and bullion to be officially issued by Union Government.
  • The gold coins will bear national emblem Ashok Chakra on one side and Mahatma Gandhi’s engraved image on the other side.
  • Denominations: The coins will be available in denominations of 5 and 10 grams and a 20 gram bullion.
  • Available at: 125 Metals and Minerals Trading Corporation (MMTC) of India outlets across the country.
  • These coins and bullion are easily liquidated.

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