RBI Master Direction on Gold Monetisation Scheme 2015

By | October 23, 2015

Master Direction No.DBR.IBD.No.45/23.67.003/2015-16

October 22, 2015

Gold Monetisation Scheme, 2015

In exercise of the powers conferred on the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) under Section 35 A of the Banking Regulation Act, 1949 and in pursuance of the Central Government notification issued vide Office Memorandum F.No.20/6/2015-FT dated September 15, 2015 regarding “ Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS)”, the RBI being satisfied that it is in the public interest, so to do, hereby issues this Direction to all Scheduled Commercial Banks (excluding Regional Rural Banks).


1.1 Objective

GMS, which modifies the existing ‘Gold Deposit Scheme’ (GDS) and ‘Gold Metal Loan Scheme (GML), is intended to mobilise gold held by households and institutions of the country and facilitate its use for productive purposes, and in the long run, to reduce country’s reliance on the import of gold.

1.2. Short title and commencement

  1. This Direction shall be called the Reserve Bank of India (Gold Monetisation Scheme ) Direction, 2015.
  2. All Scheduled Commercial Banks excluding RRBs will be eligible to implement the Scheme.
  3. The banks intending to participate in the Scheme should formulate a comprehensive policy with approval of the board to implement it.

1.3 Definitions

In this Direction, unless the context otherwise requires, the following terms shall bear the meanings assigned to them below:

  1. Collection and Purity Testing Centre (CPTC) – The collection and assaying centres certified by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) and notified by the Central Government for the purpose of handling gold deposited and redeemed under GMS.
  2. Designated bank – All Scheduled Commercial Banks (excluding RRBs) that decide to implement the Scheme.
  3. Gold Deposit Account – An account opened with a designated bank under the Scheme and denominated in grams of gold.
  4. Medium and Long Term Government Deposit (MLTGD) – The deposit of gold made under the GMS with a designated bank in the account of the Central Government for a medium term period of 5-7 years or a long term period of 12-15 years or for such period as may be decided from time to time by the Central Government.
  5. Nominated bank – A Scheduled Commercial Bank authorized by RBI to import gold in terms of RBI circular A.P.(DIR Series) Circular No.79 dated February 18, 2015
  6. Refiners – The refineries accredited by the National Accreditation Board for Testing and Calibration Laboratories(NABL) and notified by the Central Government for the purpose of handling gold deposited and redeemed under GMS.
  7. Scheme – Gold Monetization Scheme, 2015 which includes Revamped Gold Deposit Scheme (R-GDS) and Revamped Gold Metal Loan Scheme (R-GML).
  8. Short Term Bank Deposit (STBD) – The deposit of gold made under the GMS with a designated bank for a short term period of 1-3 years.

Chapter II
Revamped Gold Deposit Scheme (R-GDS)

2.1 Basic features

2.1.1 General

  1. This scheme will replace the existing Gold Deposit Scheme, 1999. However, the deposits outstanding under the Gold Deposit Scheme will be allowed to run till maturity unless these are withdrawn by the depositors prematurely as per existing instructions.
  2. All designated banks will be eligible to implement the scheme.
  3. The principal and interest of the deposit under the scheme shall be denominated in gold.
  4. Persons eligible to make a deposit – Resident Indians (Individuals, HUFs, Trusts including Mutual Funds/Exchange Traded Funds registered under SEBI (Mutual Fund) Regulations and Companies) can make deposits under the scheme. Joint deposits of two or more eligible depositors are also allowed under the scheme and the deposit in such case shall be credited to the joint deposit account opened in the name of such depositors. The existing rules regarding joint operation of bank deposit accounts including nominations will be applicable to these gold deposits.
  5. All deposits under the scheme shall be made at the CPTC. However, at their discretion, banks may accept the deposit of gold at the designated branches, especially from the larger depositors.
  6. Interest on deposits under the scheme will start accruing from the date of conversion of gold deposited into tradable gold bars after refinement or 30 days after the receipt of gold at the CPTC or the bank’s designated branch, as the case may be, whichever is earlier.
  7. During the period commencing from the date of receipt of gold by the CPTC or the designated branch, as the case may be, to the date on which interest starts accruing in the deposit, the gold accepted by the CPTC or the designated branch of the bank shall be treated as an item in safe custody held by the designated bank.
  8. On the day the gold deposited under the scheme starts accruing interest, the designated banks shall translate the gold liabilities and assets in Indian Rupees by crossing the London AM fixing for Gold / USD rate with the Rupee-US Dollar reference rate announced by RBI on that day. The prevalent custom duty for import of gold will be added to the above value to arrive at the final value of gold. This approach will also be followed for valuation of gold at any subsequent valuation dates and for the conversion of gold into Indian Rupees under the Scheme.
  9. Reporting – The designated banks need to submit a monthly report on GMS to the RBI in the prescribed format.

2.1.2 Acceptance of deposits

  1. The minimum deposit at any one time shall be raw gold (bars, coins, jewellery excluding stones and other metals) equivalent to 30 grams of gold of 995 fineness. There is no maximum limit for deposit under the scheme. All transactions under the scheme with the designated bank shall be in gold of 995 fineness.
  2. All gold deposits under the scheme, whether tendered at the CPTC or the designated branches, shall be assayed at CPTC:Provided that the designated banks are free not to subject the standard good delivery gold accepted directly at branches to fire assaying at the CPTC.

2.2 Types of deposits

There shall be two different gold deposit schemes as under:

2.2.1 Short Term Bank Deposit (STBD)

  1. All provisions of para 2.1 above shall apply to this deposit.
  2. The deposit will be made with the designated banks for a short term period of 1-3 years (with a roll over in multiples of one year) and will be treated as their on-balance sheet liability.
  3. The deposit will attract CRR and SLR requirements as per applicable instructions of RBI from the date of credit of the amount to the deposit account. However, the stock of gold held by banks in their books will be an eligible asset for meeting the SLR requirement in terms of RBI Master Circular – Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) and Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) dated 1 July 2015.
  4. The designated banks may, at their discretion, allow whole or part premature withdrawal of the deposit subject to such minimum lock-in period and penalties, if any, as may be determined by them.
  5. The designated banks are free to fix the interest rates on these deposits. The interest shall be credited in the deposit accounts on the respective due dates and will be withdrawable periodically or at maturity as per the terms of the deposit.
  6. Redemption of principal and interest at maturity will, at the option of the depositor be either in Indian Rupee equivalent of the deposited gold and accrued interest based on the price of gold prevailing at the time of redemption, or in gold. The option in this regard shall be made in writing by the depositor at the time of making the deposit and shall be irrevocable:
  7. Provided that any premature redemption shall be in Indian Rupee equivalent or gold at the discretion of the designated bank.

2.2.2 Medium and Long Term Government Deposit (MLTGD)

  1. All provisions of guidelines at para 2.1 above will apply to this deposit.
  2. The deposit under this category will be accepted by the designated banks on behalf of the Central Government. The receipts issued by the CPTC and the deposit certificate issued by the designated banks shall state this clearly.
  3. This deposit will not be reflected in the balance sheet of the designated banks.  It will be the liability of Central Government and the designated banks will hold this gold deposit on behalf of Central Government until it is transferred to such person as may be determined by the Central Government.
  4. The deposit can be made for a medium term period of 5-7 years or a long term period of 12-15 years or for such period as may be decided from time to time by the Central Government. The designated banks may allow whole or part premature withdrawal of the deposit subject to such minimum lock-in period and penalties, if any, as determined by the Central Government.
  5. Redemption of the deposit including interest accrued will be only in Indian Rupee equivalent of the value of the gold and accumulated interest as per the price of gold prevailing at the time of redemption.
  6. The gold received under MLTGD will be auctioned by the agencies notified by Government and the sale proceeds will be credited to Government’s account held with RBI.
  7. Reserve Bank of India will maintain the Gold Deposit Accounts denominated in gold in the name of the designated banks that will in turn hold sub-accounts of individual depositors.
  8. The details of auctioning and the accounting procedure will be notified by Government of India.

2.3 Opening of gold deposit accounts

The opening of gold deposit accounts shall be subject to the same rules with regard to customer identification as are applicable to any other deposit account. Depositors who do not already have any other account with the designated bank, shall open a gold deposit account with the designated banks with zero balance at any time prior to tendering gold at the CPTC after complying with KYC norms as prescribed by Reserve Bank of India.

The designated banks will credit the STBD or MLTGD, as the case may be, with the amount of 995 fineness gold as indicated in the advice received from CPTC, after 30 days of receipt of gold at the CPTC, regardless of whether the depositor submits the receipt for issuance of the deposit certificate or not.

2.4 Collection and Purity Testing Centres

  1. The Central Government will notify a list of BIS certified CPTCs under the Scheme.
  2. The designated banks will be free to select and authorize the CPTCs out of the list notified by the Central Government for handling gold as their agents based on their assessment of the credit worthiness of these centres. (Please see paragraph 2.6 for tripartite agreement among banks, refineries and CPTCs).
  3. Each designated bank authorizing a CPTC to collect deposit of gold on its behalf shall ensure that its name is included in the list of such banks displayed by the CPTC.
  4. The schedule of fees charged by the CPTCs shall be displayed at a prominent place at the centre.
  5. Before tendering the raw gold to a CPTC, the depositor shall indicate the name of the designated bank with whom he would like to place the deposit1.
  6. After assaying the gold, the CPTC will issue a receipt signed by authorised signatories of the centre showing the standard gold of 995 fineness on behalf of the designated bank indicated by the depositor. Simultaneously, the CPTC will also send an advice to the designated bank regarding the acceptance of deposit.
  7. The 995 fineness equivalent amount of gold as determined by the CPTC will be final and any difference in quantity or quality found after issuance of the receipt by the CPTC including at the level of the refinery due to refinement or any other reason shall be settled among the three parties viz., the CPTC, the refiner and the designated bank in accordance with the terms of the tripartite agreement.
  8. The depositor shall produce the receipt showing the 995 fineness equivalent amount of gold issued by the CPTC to the designated bank branch, either in person or through post.
  9. On submission of the deposit receipt by the depositor, the designated bank shall issue the final deposit certificate on the same day or 30 days after the date of the tendering of gold at the CPTC, whichever is later.
  10. The assaying process at the CPTC is described in Annex-1.

2.5 Transfer of gold to the Refiners

  1. The designated banks will be free to select the refiners based on their assessment regarding the credibility of these entities.
  2. The CPTCs will transfer the gold to the refiners as per the terms and conditions set out in the tripartite agreement.
  3. The refined gold may, at the option of the designated bank, be kept in the vaults maintained by the refiners or at the branch itself.
  4. For the services provided by the refiners, the designated banks will pay a fee as decided mutually.
  5. The refiners shall not collect any charge from the depositor.

2.6 Tripartite agreement between the designated banks, refiners and CPTCs

  1. Every designated bank shall enter into a legally binding tripartite agreement with the refiners and CPTCs with whom they tie up under the Scheme.
  2. The agreement shall clearly lay down the details regarding payment of fees, services to be provided, standards of service, the details of the arrangement regarding movement of gold and rights and obligations of all the three parties in connection with the operation of the Scheme.

2.7 Utilization of gold mobilized under GMS

2.7.1 Gold accepted under STBD

Without prejudice to the generality of the uses of the gold mobilised under the STBD, the designated banks may

  1. sell the gold to MMTC for minting India Gold Coins (IGC), to jewellers and to other designated banks participating in GMS; or
  2. lend the gold under the GML scheme to MMTC for minting India Gold Coins (IGC) and to jewellers.

2.7.2 Gold accepted under MLTGD

  1. Gold deposited under MLTGD will be auctioned by MMTC or any other agency authorized by the Central Government and the sale proceeds credited to the Central Government’s account with RBI.
  2. The entities participating in the auction may include RBI, MMTC, banks and any other entities notified by the Central Government in this regard.
  3. Gold purchased by designated bank under the auction may be utilized by them for any purposes indicated at para 2.7.1 above.

2.8 Risk management

  1. The designated banks are allowed to access the International Exchanges, London Bullion Market Association or make use of Over-the-counter contracts to hedge exposures to bullion prices subject to the guidelines issued by RBI.
  2. The designated banks should put in place suitable risk management mechanisms including appropriate limits to manage the risk arising from gold price movements in respect of their net exposure to gold.

2.9 Oversight over the CPTCs and Refineries

  1. The Central Government, in consultation with BIS, NABL, RBI and IBA, may put in place appropriate supervisory mechanism over the CPTCs and the refiners so as to ensure observance of the standards set out for these centres by Government (BIS and NABL).
  2. The Central Government may take appropriate action including levy of penalties against the non-compliant CPTCs and refiners.
  3. The Central Government may also put in place appropriate grievance redress mechanism regarding any depositor’s complaints against the CPTCs.
  4. The complaints against the designated banks regarding any discrepancy in issuance of receipts and deposit certificates, redemption of deposits, payment of interest will be handled first by the bank’s grievance redress process and then by the Banking Ombudsman of RBI.

Chapter III
GMS – linked Gold Metal Loan (GML) Scheme

3.1.1 General

  1. The gold mobilized under STBD may be provided to the jewellers as GML. The designated banks can also purchase the gold auctioned under MLTGD and extend GML to the jewellers.
  2. The jewellers will receive the physical delivery of gold either from the refiners or from the designated bank, depending on the place where the refined gold is stored.
  3. The existing Gold (Metal) Loan (GML) Scheme operated by nominated banks in terms of paragraph 2.3.12 of the RBI Master Circular on Loans and Advances dated July 1, 2015 will continue in parallel with GMS-linked GML scheme. All prudential guidelines for the existing GML Scheme as prescribed in the Master Circular as amended from time to time will also be applicable to the new Scheme.
  4. The designated banks other than the nominated banks shall be eligible to import gold only for redemption of the gold deposits mobilised under the STBD.

3.1.2 Interest to be charged

The designated banks are free to determine the interest rate to be charged on GMS-linked GML.

3.1.3 Tenor

The tenor of GMS-linked GML will be the same as under the extant GML scheme.

Rajinder Kumar
Chief General Manager

Annex 1
Assaying process at the CPTCs

I. The fees to be charged by a CPTC shall be informed to the customer before doing the XRF test.

II. There will be a BIS certified protocol of operations and processes at all stages of purity verification and deposit of gold which are as under:

  1. XRF machine-test and weighing of all articles shall be done in the presence of the customer and will be recorded by CCTV Camera.
  2. After XRF test, the customer will be given the option to disagree with the preliminary test or withdraw the tendered gold or he will give his consent for melting and fire assay test.
  3. On receipt of the customer consent, the gold ornaments will be cleaned of its dirt, studs, meena etc. and thereafter, the purity of the tendered gold will be ascertained through a fire assay test in the presence of the customer.
  4. In case the customer agrees with the result of the fire assay test, he will exercise his option to deposit the gold with the bank and in that case the fee charged by the centre will be paid by the bank. However, in case of any disagreement with the fire assay result, the customer will be given the option to take back the melted gold after paying a nominal fee to the centre.
  5. In case the customer exercises the option to deposit the gold, he will be provided a certificate by the CPTC certifying the weight of the gold tendered in equivalence of 995 fineness of gold.
  6. On receipt of this certificate from the customer, the bank will credit the equivalent quantity of Standard gold of 995 fineness in to the depositor’s account.
  7. Simultaneously, the CPTC has also to inform the bank about the details of the deposit made by the customer.

1 The Indian Banks’ Association (IBA) has agreed to  design appropriate standard documentations in connection with the GMS including application form for tendering raw gold to the assaying centers, description of the physical appearance and other characteristics of the gold, the recording of the results of XRF by the assaying centre, customer’s consent for melting the gold for fire-assaying, customer’s consent for making the final deposit, the Final Receipt to be issued to the depositor and any other documents that may be considered by the banks. The entire set of documents should be made available to the depositor upfront and should include all the terms and conditions of the scheme including the schedule of charges. The documentation should be posted on IBA’s website and should also be available in physical form at the CPTCs.

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