The government said on Saturday it has netted a hefty 900kg of idle household and temple gold under the monetisation scheme and is hopeful that the number would rise further in future.
“Gold Monetisation Scheme: More than 900 kg gold mobilised so far. Scheme making steady progress. Expected to pick up in coming months,” economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das tweeted.
The Gold Monetisation Scheme, which had not picked up initially, was fine-tuned to make it more attractive and convenient to encourage entities holding idle gold to participate in the scheme.
Under the monetisation scheme, launched on November 5, banks were authorised to collect gold for up to 15 years to auction them off or lend to jewellers from time to time. Depositors will earn up to 2.50% interest per annum, a rate lower than savings bank deposits.
Currently, there are 46 Assaying and Hallmarking Centres which are qualified to act as Collection and Purity Testing Centre (CPTC) for handling gold under the gold monetisation scheme.
All gold deposits under the scheme have to be made at CPTC. Banks could also accept deposits of gold at designated branches, especially from larger depositors.
India imports about 1,000 tonnes of gold every year and the precious metal is the second-highest component of the imports bill after crude oil. An estimated 20,000 tonnes of gold are lying with households and temples.
During April-December this fiscal, gold imports increased to $26.45 billion as against $25.85 billion in the same period last year.