India 10th largest gold-holding country: Survey | business | Hindustan Times
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India 10th largest gold-holding country: Survey

business Updated: Feb 25, 2010 13:19 IST

From a nation that pledged its bullion two decades ago to pay for imports, 2009-10 saw India becoming the world's 10th largest gold-holding country, the Economic Survey noted.

The government's purchase of 200 tonnes of gold from the International Monetary Fund took its total reserves to 557.7 tonnes, or about 6 per cent of total foreign exchange reserves.

In stark contrast, India had to pledge its gold to the Bank of England in 1991 to pay for its imports.

"Post-purchase, India has become the 10th largest official gold-holding country in the world," said the pre-Budget survey, tabled in Parliament.

In November last year, the Reserve Bank concluded the purchase of 200 tonnes of gold from the IMF as part of the country's foreign exchange reserve management operation.

The purchase was an official-sector off-market transaction and executed over two weeks during October.

Earlier, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee had said the the gold purchase provided a healing touch to the nation's pride that was dented about two decades back when the country sold its gold for a few hundred million dollars.

"It has much more significance because for many of you it is not the remote past,... how the sentiments of the country felt outraged when we had to pledge gold to Bank of England just for borrowing few hundred million dollars to maintain our essential import requirement," he had said at the Economic Editors' Conference.