Gold bonds are rolled out but the response seems to be not so good.
First thing is how many are aware of this new thing on the market? If few have heard, are they clear with how they work? Retail investors would not come in unless the benefit of this scheme is explained well. Post offices and Public sector banks are no great marketers. Then who will promote this? But going by the arrangements, neither RBI nor Govt. have not much to take it to retail investors. But that is where approx. 20,000 tonnes of Gold lays idle. And if they are not convinced well, they would not come out of their addiction for physical gold. Unless this gap is bridged, a great scheme will not reach anywhere its potential. Govt. and RBI has to get few celebrities to promote the scheme. Incentives have to be created for those selling these bonds. Let the brokerage houses and agents sell these bonds too. And if they can become part of investments under section 80C, income tax payers would find it attractive. I hope the concerned authority will take necessary care to put these in the hands replacing the hunger for physical gold.
Do you want to know the details of this bond? Here is the press release from RBI: https://rbi.org.in/Scripts/BS_PressReleaseDisplay.aspx?prid=35292
I was also thinking who would oppose these bonds? Of course, Jewelers and pawn brokers who deal with physical gold will see a competition and their business being impacted if gold bonds are to see huge success. But who would win if the bonds become a great success? It is whole of Indian economy in general, as import bill reduces and so will be the current account deficit. That would offer some relief to Rupee too. But for these benefits to materialize by monetizing the huge gold reserves India holds, these bonds need to be promoted well. And I do not see much effort in that direction, at least for now. Our focus and energy is lost in so many other things.