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Government Boosts Sovereign Gold Bond Issuance to 3,500 Crore in Fiscal Year 2024-25

In a strategic move, the Indian government has decided to substantially increase the issuance of Sovereign Gold Bonds (SGB) for the upcoming fiscal year. The allocation for SGBs has been more than doubled, rising from ₹1,500 crore in the financial year ending March 31, 2023, to a significant ₹3,500 crore for the fiscal year 2024-25.

SGB’s Role in Managing Gold Demand and Imports

The Sovereign Gold Bond, overseen by the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), has emerged as a preferred investment avenue, effectively channeling investor interest towards financial instruments rather than physical gold. This approach aids in curbing the current account deficit by controlling gold imports. Despite a 20% surge in gold imports to 781 tonnes last year, the success of SGBs in attracting financial investors has played a crucial role in managing gold demand amidst rising prices.

SGB’s Appeal to Financial Investors

Somsundaram PR, Regional CEO (India) of the World Gold Council, highlights the success of SGBs in attracting a distinct group of financial investors seeking exposure to gold without the complications associated with physical ownership. The scheme has proven effective in diversifying investment avenues and reducing the impact on the physical domestic demand for gold, which still hovers between 700-750 tonnes annually.

Redemption and Performance

The Reserve Bank of India redeemed the inaugural tranche of SGBs in November, marking a significant milestone. The initial tranche, issued at ₹2,684 per gram in November 2015, was redeemed at ₹6,132 per gram. Investors also benefited from an annual interest rate, initially set at 2.75% and later reduced to 2.50%.

Upcoming SGB Issuance

The next issuance of Sovereign Gold Bonds is scheduled for subscription between February 12-16, offering investors an opportunity to participate in a financial instrument with a tenure of eight years and the option for premature redemption after the fifth year. The maximum subscription limit is set at 4 kg for individuals and 20 kg for trusts and similar entities per fiscal year, providing flexibility for a diverse range of investors.

Government Boosts Sovereign Gold Bond Issuance to 3,500 Crore in Fiscal Year 2024-25_40.1

Government Boosts Sovereign Gold Bond Issuance to 3,500 Crore in Fiscal Year 2024-25_50.1

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