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Gold monetisation scheme likely by next month, says PM Narendra Modi in Mann ki Baat

Huge gold imports were blamed for pushing the country's current account deficit to a record $190 billion in 2013, prompting the government to hike its duty on imports to 10 percent, an all-time high.

By: PTI | New Delhi |
Updated: October 26, 2015 7:23:11 am
Gold seized by customs officials from the rear toilets of a Jet Airways flight at Mumbai airport (Source: Anjali Lukose) PM Modi said the scheme should be ready before Dhanteras next month. (Source: Express Photo/Anjali Lukose)

On the eve of Diwali, the government will launch important gold-related schemes, including the Gold Monetisation, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced today, expressing confidence that it will give a new direction to the economic development.

Besides the Gold Monetisation Scheme, the government will also launch ‘Sovereign Gold Bonds’ and gold coins with Ashok Chakra, he said in his monthly radio programme ‘Mann Ki Baat’. “In the last Budget, we had announced an important scheme. In our country, gold has become a part of our social life. Gold is treated as a means of economic security, a help during the time of crisis. It is traditionally believed so.

“I don’t think anybody can reduce the love of people for gold. But to keep gold in the form of dead money does not augur well in this age. Gold can become strength, an economic strength. Gold can become the country’s economic property and every Indian should contribute to this,” he said.

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He said he was happy to announce that as per the promise made in the Budget, the government is going to launch “some important schemes” during this Diwali festival, prior to ‘Dhanteras’ when gold is purchased by people. Diwali is on November 11.

“We have brought Gold Monetisation Scheme. Under this, you can deposit your gold in a bank and bank will pay interest to you for that like on your cash,” Modi said.

He noted that as per the traditional practice, people keep gold in lockers, for which they have to pay to banks. “Now, keep gold in the bank and bank will pay you in the form of interest. Now say, will gold not be an asset? Can gold not transform from dead money to live power? This is what we have to do. You support me,” Modi said in his 35-minute programme.

Asking people not to keep gold at home, he said keeping it in banks will have two benefits — security and interest. “You must take the benefit.”

Talking about the Sovereign Gold Bonds scheme, he said people will not get any gold bar but a piece of paper which will have the same value as that of gold. “When you return that piece of paper, you will get money as per the value of gold at that time… We are going to initiate this,” he said.

Speaking about its benefits, the Prime Minister said because of this, one would not not need to buy gold and worry about where to keep it.

It will be a matter of just a piece of paper which “nobody will come to steal”, he said, adding this secure scheme will be launched in the coming weeks.

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