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Jewellers might acts as Collection Centers for Gold Monetisation Scheme

The Finance Ministry and Industry is discussing the possibility of engaging jewellers as collection centers for the gold monetization scheme, as per the reports.

Banks, representatives of hallmarking centers and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) have been in discussions on the possibility of jewellers being collection centers for the gold monetization scheme, as per reports. An official discussion has begun on whether jewellers could be allowed to be collection centres for the central government’s new gold monetisation scheme (GMS).

However, BIS is uncomfortable with the idea but the finance ministry is believed to have suggested that jewellers could be allowed to do the work of assaying as per a report in Business Standard. While, melting the jewellery and issuing a certificate, based on which a bank will open an account, can be done by hallmarking centres. BIS, said a source, will decide when the scheme is up for review; it has already been notified. If BIS agrees, it will have to determine the criteria for jewellers.

Saurabh Garg, Joint Secretary (investment), Ministry of Finance, said on October 27 at a workshop, “Promoting the GMS is banks’ job and they can also consider allowing jewellers to become agents.” Sanjiv Agarwal, Chief Executive, Gitanjali Exports told Business Standard, “Customers have a better comfort level and strong faith on the jewellers they deal with. Hence, their presence in the scheme will help achieve better results in monetising idle gold assets.”

According to Business Standard, BIS has recognised 22 hallmarking centres. Sources said the target was to launch once 100 centres were recognised. A handful of the 30-odd refineries in the country have been certified by BIS. An official of a hallmarking centre certified by BIS said, “Banks have started harassing us to enter into an agreement. There are several banks wanting us to do the exercise, as collection and purity testing centres are less in number, while banks are many.”

BIS has invited applications for setting up centres. Activity is on at banks, the Reserve Bank, hallmarking centres and refineries to implement the scheme, as the prime minister’s office is taking keen interest. Government agencies and RBI are finalising campaigns to popularise these schemes. Gold deposits under the scheme will be at par with other bank deposits and, hence, the insurance cover available to small deposits would also be made available to these.

Courtesy: Business Standard