Make gold a productive asset

Make gold a productive asset M G Warrier I am one of those optimists who believe that India is a rich country with poor resources management. The awareness about the existence of thousands of tons of domestic gold stock and sermons about the advantages of converting solid gold into other monetary assets are nothing new. There are two views about holding on to the yellow metal as a store of value accessible in times of financial stress. A recent media article argued for sale over pledge of gold for raising funds. The motives of money lenders in taking gold as security is a well exposed secret. There is a felt need for a change in our mindset towards gold as a liquid asset. For a change in public attitude, there has to be transparency in government's gold management policy. National Gold Policy should aim at accounting, mainstreaming and purifying domestic gold stock now idling in private vaults and lockers. If Tirupati temple gold can become a productive asset in SBI vaults, there's no justification in allowing tons of gold to remain underground elsewhere and securing it at taxpayers' cost. Having said that we need to do a lot more to create awareness in the public mind about safe migration from the trust in the yellow metal in solid form to faith in public institutions for keeping their gold in trust and receiving interest or paying interest depending on whether it is a deposit or pledge against loan availed. Mushrooming money lenders need to be brought under some regulatory architecture. ****. ****. ****

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