English: Gold Jewelry / Gold Jewellery

English: Gold Jewelry / Gold Jewellery (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

NEW DELHI:The Gold Monetisation Scheme has so far attracted only 400 grams of gold deposit since its launch 13 days ago, industry body Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council has said.

“If the 13,000 BIS-certified jewellers are allowed to act as collection agents, then I am hopeful that the scheme will take off in a good way,” GJEPC’s northern region chairman Anil Sankhwal said after a meeting called by the finance ministry to discuss ways to open more gold testing centres on Thur sday. According to official estimates, around 20,000 tonnes of gold worth over Rs 52 lakh crore is lying idle with households and temples in the country. Apart from gems and jewellery industry, the meeting called by economic affairs secretary Shaktikanta Das was also attended by representatives from the Reserve Bank of India, Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), MMTC and private banks.

Rahul Gupta, vice chairman of Export Promotion Council for EOUs & SEZs (EPCES) and CEO at PP Jewellers, said the industry has requested the finance ministry to allow jewellers registered with BIS to act as collection point for gold to give a boost to the monetisation scheme.

A ministry official said 55 gold purity testing centres would come up by December, up from 29 such centres now. Also, the number .of gold refinery would go up to 20 from four. Sankhwal of GJEPC said the economic affairs secretary has asked BIS to fasten the process of registration of jewellers as collection agents and give out the licences within 15 days.

Under the Gold Monetisation Scheme launched on November 5, banks were authorised to collect gold for up to 15 years to auction them off or lend to jewellers from time to time. Depositors will earn up to 2.5 % interest per annum, a rate lower than bank deposits.