A slew of investor-friendly measures saw the fourth tranche of the Sovereign Gold Bond (SGB) scheme getting a good response, with collection reaching Rs. 919 crore representing 2,950 kg gold. The government said it would come up with more such tranches this year.
The number of applications stood at 1.95 lakh for the fourth tranche that opened on July 18 and closed on July 22. The numbers could go up since the collection centres are yet to send the complete details. “These numbers are likely to go up further as the receiving offices are keying in the information of huge rush of applications received on the last day,” the government said in statement.
The previous high was Rs. 746 crore in the second tranche when the issue price was fixed at Rs. 2,600 per gm of gold. The price per gm of gold was fixed at Rs.3,119 by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) based on the basis of simple average of closing price of gold of 999 purity for the week July 11 to 15, 2016 as published by the India Bullion and Jewellers Association Ltd. (IBJA). The interest rate was fixed at 2.75 percent per annum.
The success of the SGB scheme — launched last November — was attributed to additional features to make it more attractive to investors.
The minimum subscription limit was reduced from 2 gm to 1 gm. The capitals gain tax arising on redemption of SGB to an individual was exempted, in line with the Budget 2016-17 announcement and extended to the last 3 tranches too. The applications were allowed to be routed online and SGB was issued in demat/ paper form. National Stock Exchange and Bombay Stock Exchange were notified as additional receiving offices. Trading of Gold Bonds was also operationalised,” the government said.
The response has encouraged the BJP-led NDA government to roll out more such offers to investors this fiscal. “Seeing the investors’ response, the Government will come up with more tranches in 2016-17,” the finance ministry statement said.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had launched the SGS scheme along with two others — Gold Monetization Scheme and India Gold Coins — on Nov. 5 last year. The schemes were launched to unlock about 20,000 tons of the yellow metal held by households and institutions and put them to good use, besides discouraging investors from buying physical gold.