GOLDEN OPPORTUNITY: Tirupati shows the way
Tirupati to deposit 2.3 tonnes of gold: The Punjab National Bank(PNB) has offered a highest quotation of rate of interest with 1.75 per cent per annum to Tirumala Tirupathi Devasthanam (TTD), which manages Tirumala - one of the richest temples in the World, under the short term deposit
This refers to the report “Tirupati to deposit 2.3 tonnes of gold” (Business Standard, March 23, 2016). One of the richest temples which is known for transparency in its operations Tirupati had deposited part of its gold stock with SBI long back. It is in national interest and in their own commercial interest for other organisations including temples and ‘Trusts’ which hold considerable idle stock of gold and jewellery in their vaults to transfer part of the stock to schemes like Gold Deposits/Gold Monetisation Schemes of GOI. This will have three-way advantage, namely (a) less cost on arranging security for the stock of valuables (b) opportunity to earn recurring income- 80 kg of gold earned as interest by Tirupati on a deposit of 4.5 tonnes of gold is no small income by any standards and (c) participating in nation-building, as reduced import bills will be money saved for deployment in sectors of national priority.
Now that gold management schemes are getting public acceptance, RBI and GOI need to make gold deposit schemes more attractive by providing incentives for investors and disincentives for those who hold on to their undeclared gold possessions for various reasons. The first steps could include assessment of domestic gold stock and recovery of part of costs on providing security for huge stocks of gold and jewellery with temples and trusts from those who are holding such stocks.
M G Warrier, Mumbai