The Reserve Bank on Thursday widened the gold monetisation scheme to allow proprietorship and partnership firms to make deposits. Joint deposits of two or more eligible depositors will also be allowed under a joint deposit account opened in the name of such depositors, the RBI said on Thursday.
The central bank also allowed whole or part premature withdrawal of the deposits, subject to minimum lock-in period and penalties. The lock-in period of Medium Term Government Deposit (MTGD) is allowed to be withdrawn any time after three years, and a Long Term Government Deposit (LTGD) after five years.
The penalty will be the sum of actual market value of the gold deposit on the day of withdrawal and interest payable on the value of the gold at the time of deposit.
Under the gold monetisation scheme, resident Indians – individuals or trusts including mutual funds, exchange-traded funds registered with market regulator Sebi and temples, among others – can deposit gold, bullion, and jewellery in banks and earn interest on such deposits. The mobilised gold will supplement RBI’s gold reserves and help in reducing the government’s borrowing costs.
RBI has also said that for an initial period of one year from the date of launch of the scheme, i.e. November 5, 2015, designated banks will be paid handling charges, including gold purity testing, refining, transportation, storage and any other relevant costs.