MMTC, under the Union commerce ministry, will manufacture and market sovereign gold coins in India and abroad. “We have been given the responsibility. Finance minister Arun Jaitley had anno- unced about the issue of these gold coins in his Budget speech in February,” MMTC chairman and managing director Ved Prakash told Business Standard.
The coins will be launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October before the peaking of festive season gold buying for Dhanteras and Diwali. The coins will come in five grammes and 10 grammes weight category. The price will be at par with coins sold by other agencies and banks.
“We are not taking it up as a commercial venture,” said Prakash, adding the design of the coins, with Ashok Chakra and image of Mahatma Gandhi on them, has already been approved. The state-owned trading company intends to produce 20,000 gold coins a month initially and would scale it up to 50,000 coins a month, depending on the demand.
The gold coins will be sold through MMTC offices and showrooms in the country and abroad in places such as the UK, the US and South Africa, which have a sizable non-resident Indian population. “We are also in talks with India Post and State Bank of India to market the coins,” he said.
Prakash said MMTC need not have to step up gold import to produce these coins as it will ride on the gold monetisation scheme of the Government of India recently. The monetisation scheme is expected to tap 22,000 tons of gold stocks lying in the households.
He said these gold coins will cater to the demand of people currently buying “gold sovereign” of other countries even at a premium in the absence of India made sovereign gold coins.
Jaitley had said in his Budget spe-ech that Indian gold coins would help reduce the demand for coins minted outside India and also help recycle the gold in the country.