The Reserve Bank of India (RBI) on Friday liberalised the Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS), 2015, allowing depositors to directly deposit their bullion with either banks, refiners or collection and purity testing centres (CPTCs). The current scheme mandates that customers have to first approach the CPTCs which are approved by the Bureau of Indian Standards.
The GMS scheme had been able to garner only 16 tonnes of gold as deposits in the last four years. This was largely because of banks’ apathy towards it and also due to practical difficulties of banks in dealing with collection-hallmarking centres.
The scheme was launched by the Prime Minister in November 2015 along with sovereign gold bonds and India gold coins.
These centres had issued depositors purity certificate on gold deposited, and based on the centres’ certificate, a bank was supposed to open a deposit account and credit gold.
CPTCs sent the gold to a refinery which gave the final purity certificate and converted the yellow metal into bars.
Banks, CPTCs and refineries had to sign a tripartite agreement for this earlier.
Banks had been raising issues about the credit worthiness of CPTCs and were not comfortable in dealing with them for GMS.
After several rounds of meetings, the government accepted the banks’ demand. In view of this, RBI said in the circular on Friday that, “All deposits under the scheme shall be made at the CPTC. Provided that, at their discretion, banks may accept the deposit of gold at designated branches, especially from larger depositors.”
Temples, high networth individuals or HNIs and entities like fund houses, trusts and even government entities would find it easier to deal directly with banks instead of CPTCs.
The RBI also further relaxed norms under the scheme by which banks, at their discretion, can, “allow the depositors to deposit their gold directly with the refiners that have facilities to carry out final assaying and to issue the deposit receipts of standard gold of 995 fineness to the depositor.”
This suits the temples also. Indian temples are estimated to be holding 4,000 tonnes of gold and are capable of depositing gold in tonnes under the scheme.
Several depositors had earlier complained that banks are not taking interest in accepting deposits under the GMS in many cities even from large depositors.
Banks had hardly publicised that they run the GMS.
On Friday, the RBI said in the circular that banks have to identify branches in all states and union territories where they can accept deposits.
All designated banks have now been mandated by the RBI to give adequate publicity to the scheme through their branches, websites and other channels.