In India, Gold Is Not Only Money But Now Pays Interest

Tyler Durden's picture

Despite Bernanke's previous protestations that "gold is not money... it is tradition," it appears the Indian government - having come to the rapid realization that any attempts to thwart the use of gold as a monetary equivalent merely forced the people to hoard the precious metal in ever larger amounts and ever more shadow, un-regulated, ways - now has a very different opinion.

In an effort to mobilise 20,000 tonnes of unproductive gold owned by Indian households into cash, Reuters reports that - after unveiling the gold monetisation scheme on Feb 28th, India's FinMin Arun Jaitley released bank guidelines overnight on interest rates, reserve and liquidity ratios. The scheme "allows gold to become a dynamic, fungible asset in the hands of gold savers."

As we previously noted - before India went full gold-curb-tard when the finance minister said "demand for gold must be moderated" - this chart from 2012 shows the staggering eightfold increase in India's gold loans "which monetize the idle gold in the country", in just four short years.



And now, as Reuters reports, India could allow individuals deposit a minimum of 30 grams of gold with banks in return for interest payments to help monetise large quantities of the metal lying with households, a step that is aimed at cutting expensive imports.

Banks could treat gold deposits as part of their cash reserve ratio (CRR) or statutory liquidity ratio (SLR), the finance ministry said in its guidelines released on Tuesday to seek opinions about its gold monetisation scheme. It said the stakeholders could respond to its suggestions by June 2.


The SLR is the minimum amount of bonds that banks must have, while the CRR is the share of deposits they have to compulsory keep with the central bank.


"Both directionally and in terms of content, this draft reflects a practical approach," said Somasundaram PR, managing director of World Gold Council's India operations.


"Once the incentive framework falls into place to the satisfaction of the banks, customers and others, we will own a uniquely Indian scheme that allows gold to become a dynamic, fungible asset in the hands of gold savers."


Indians' penchant for gold spans centuries and is rooted in the Hindu religion, with the Diwali festival being one of the biggest annual buying seasons. Gold also forms part of dowries and it is an instrument of financial security for 70 percent of India's rural population.

The government is trying to convince households, who sometimes have little faith in financial institutions, to break the tradition and hand over gold passed down the generations.

Under the scheme, customers' will have to deposit gold for at least a year and banks may pay the interest after 30 or 60 days of the opening of the gold savings account, the proposal said.


Both the interest and the principal payable to depositors are likely to be valued in gold and the gains will be tax-free, it said.


"Lower threshold for deposits and tax exemptions will make the scheme attractive for households," said a Mumbai-based dealer with a bullion importing bank.


But the biggest challenge would be to set up collection centres that can accept gold, the dealer said.

*  *  *

We are reminded of the RBI's 2012 report on Gold loans and imports... whose purpose is to isolate the attractiveness of gold to the general population, and most importantly, prevent it, is that gold demand must be limited as the only control a collapsing central-bank based statist system has is in controlling "money" that is infinitely dilutable and can inflate away debt, not the type that actually has value, and that a central bank can't create out of thin binary air. Hence the report's conclusion:



There is a need to moderate the demand for gold imports, as ensuring external sector’s stability is critical. But, it is necessary to recognise that demand for gold is not strictly amenable to policy changes and also is price inelastic due to varied reasons. What is critical is to ensure provision of real returns to investors through various financial savings products. What is also relevant is the need for banks to introduce new gold-backed financial products that may reduce or postpone the demand for gold imports. The Working Group believes that providing real rate of return to investors through alternative instruments holds the key to reducing the excessive  demand for gold. Meanwhile, there is also a need to increase monetisation of idle gold stocks in the economy for productive purposes.


As of now, there appears to be no close substitute to wean away investors’ attention from gold. Investors’ awareness and education is important, in this context, to channel the investment to gold-backed financial products. Banks and NBFCs may continue to deliver gold jewellery loans, which monetises the idle gold in the country. The gold loan market has grown well in recent years. It is time for consolidation of the operations of the gold loan NBFCs. The gold loans NBFCs need to transform themselves into institutions free of complaints, have proper documentation and auction procedures, with rationalised interest rate structure and have a branch network that is fully safe and secure. Gold loans NBFCs’ linkage with formal financial institutions may be reduced gradually. Such transformation ensures the gold loans NBFCs’ future growth more robust, besides making them a contributing segment to the financial inclusion process.

One can almost feel the panic.

*  *  *

In short it proves that in India, gold is the only real money, and is the only fallback option in a country where inflation is still rampant, and where even simple peasants prefer to keep their wealth not in the local paper currency, which has been losing its value aggressively in recent years, but in the shiny metal. Must be "tradition."

* * *Full details of India's Gold monetization scheme below...

Draft Gold Monetization Scheme

What this means for the supply and demand dynamics of not paper, but real physical gold, we leave to our readers to decipher... or ask blogger Ben (if he's not too busy at his new hedge fund).

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LetThemEatRand's picture

And the banks will give all of your gold back to you when TSHTF.  Promise.

Pinto Currency's picture

Give us your gold, we'll give you some paper. Hmmmmmm.

quintago's picture

Please declare your gold now.

0b1knob's picture

Deposit your gold with the banks and get INTEREST!!!

Didn't Vietnam offer the same deal to its people?   Followed a few months later by confiscation of all bank deposited gold? 

RafterManFMJ's picture

Indian Sucker: I got a hundred-gram gold coin from my grandma and my dad said I need to put it in the bank so it can grow over the years.

Bank Clerk: Well that's fantastic. A really smart decision, young man. We can put that gold in a secure, interest-bearing unallocated gold account , then we'll re-invest the earnings into foreign currency accounts with compounding interest aaaand it's gone.

prefan4200's picture

So now there is a place that pays interest on gold.  And there are other places where there are bonds that pay negative interest, ie. you pay them to just hold onto your money.  And of course, every piece of bad news now sends stocks rocketing higher.

I swear to God, you just can't make this shit up.

OldPhart's picture

Kind of interesting that the bank titles it as a "scheme".  Can't be any plainer than that.

AIIB's picture
AIIB (not verified) OldPhart May 21, 2015 3:38 AM

The 'scheme' part is that after they confiscate it from you, they'll tell you don't have it anymore and stop paying you interest on it... This is almost as clever as the ones who charge you a 'storage fee' for the gold that you thought you owned, but wasn't in fact allocated to you...

Harbanger's picture

I hate to break the news to you suckers but it's not "the banks".  Their banks are NATIONALIZED, it's their GOVERNMENT that wants their gold..

"The Modi government is planning to launch a scheme in May that would encourage temples to deposit their gold with banks in return for interest payments, it is said.

The government is likely melt the gold and loan it to jewellers to meet an insatiable appetite for gold and reduce economically-crippling gold imports, which accounted for 28 per cent of India’s trade deficit in the year ending March 2013.

India’s annual gold imports of 800 to 1,000 tonnes could be cut by a quarter if temples decided to participate in the scheme, say government and industry sources. “We would be happy to deposit our gold to nationalised banks if the policy is beneficial, safe and earns good interest,” said Narendra Murari Rane, chairman of the trust for the Siddhivinayak temple, portions of which are gold-plated."


Kaervek's picture

So let me see if I get this right, they want to use their peoples gold to loan it to jewellers, who in turn sell it back to their people. Now those people also get interest on the gold they buy and store with the bank, so how exactly are they going to reduce demand or imports? They are going to buy even more, save it with the banks to accumulate more interest, without additional imports this is just a paper gold pyramid. Only works if nobody ever withdraws.

Looks like a scheme to introduce a lot of suckers to the scam that is paper gold. This is not going to end well if you ask me.

greenskeeper carl's picture

And even if you do come get your gold back from the bank, don't worry, we have your information, we know where to find you....

mvsjcl's picture

"The scheme..."


Precisely. Exactly what it is.

Budnacho's picture

Yeah, theres that pesky logic and reasoning again.


I work with an Indian guy who has told me about whats going on over there, he told me that the people will never hand their gold over...period. Too much prestige and the showing of wealth with zero faith in their govt. 




Isn't this really what most of the miners do? Hand over their gold for pieces of paper or blips on a screen? 

7.62x54r's picture

A lot of mines are being bought by folks who use them to convert money into gold stacks. They pay for three shifts of miners, and the gold gets stacked, usually off-shore.

Some mine owners are getting a clue.


Larry Dallas's picture

Why do I see lots of older, brown people crying that they lost their gold on the cover of in the next 3 years?

Why did you buy it in the first place if you didn't want to keep possession of it?

StychoKiller's picture

Hmm, I know what General Ackbar would say to this...

kliguy38's picture

funny you really think they're dumb enough to keep their gold in the safe hands of the banks.......heheheh

LetThemEatRand's picture

There are a lot of stories around recently like this one that pretty clearly suggest the powers that be are dying to get their hands on physical.  I'm "doomed out" from years of waiting for the collapse that I thought was coming years ago, but I'm starting to get interested again.

lunaticfringe's picture

Me too. Hard to believe they duct taped and patched this pig together. Soon or later, the parts are gonna heat up and oil's gonna start gushing.

We shall see.

greenskeeper carl's picture

LTER, I hear you. It's been a while. It will happen eventually and it will suck. Until then, enjoy the show. Im a same world, a government would be happy their citizens had 20000 tons of stored wealth in their hands. But we do not live in a same world. This is just an attempt to get physical gold without purchasing it on the open market and reinforcing the problem by driving the price up. It will fail.

Perseus son of Zeus's picture

My all in price is $3725, once hit all other asset classes will soon have no value.

lunaticfringe's picture

How did you arrive at that figure- some logic based figure or pull it out of your ass?

Freedumb's picture

At least it was pulled out of an ass, I'll give it some credibility, most figures these days are pulled out of thin air

jefferson32's picture

Here's the number pulled out of Bloomberg's ass.

"A move to a gold standard in China would require an exchange rate of as much as $64,000 an ounce, 50 times bullion’s price now, according to Bloomberg Intelligence."

TheReplacement's picture

That is roughly triple the current price.  That is my guess on his logic.

F0ster's picture

India knows what's coming. China, Russia, Brazil and SA are all in play with their gold holdings be it in bullion or in Ore. India is the only BRICS county with out its gold shit together. The BRICS death knell to the dollar is coming and India is rushing to get control of domestic owned gold in time.

StychoKiller's picture

Here in the USA we have a saying:  "Tough titty said the kitty when the milk ran dry!"

fascismlover's picture

The problem India has is that the people do not need the government, unlike most all others.  The people have scraped along just fine and they will continue to do so. 

Stormtrooper's picture

Backdoor confiscation?  An Indian version of being Cyprused?  Give it to the banks "and it's gone".

F0ster's picture

Except that India is the inverse of Cyprus. Everyone owning gold is like trying to compete with 1.4 Billion central banks of varying size and complexity.

BoPeople's picture
BoPeople (not verified) May 20, 2015 8:08 PM


Lazarus Taxon's picture
Lazarus Taxon (not verified) May 20, 2015 8:14 PM

May it help the Righteous.

Youri Carma's picture

Interesting scheme but has a couple of flaws I think.

First off banks have to be trusted to give your gold back when asked and secondly people have to be willing to participate with their gold.

I wouldn’t and I wouldn’t trust the banks either. Will the Indian people?

I smell rat, a smart way of gold confiscation. Government can change the rules any moment they see fit.

Kyddyl's picture

Yesterday I was reading Bill Holter where he is persuaded that a good portion of the world  is totally fed up with the US and the US is hiding a failing system behind war, perhaps contemplating a disasterous first strike nuclear "hot" war. He posits that China will announce 30,000 tonnes of gold from an official audit, this based on an article from admittedly dubious Pravda. "While speaking of liquidity, this seems to be drying up across the board including the equity markets as volume has gone comatose.  U.S. economic numbers are unmistakably weak and recession will be known by the end of June or early July.  Another classic sign of illiquidity is the shortage of collateral available to the shadow banking systems in both the U.S. and in Europe,.  A “margin call” to a system undercapitalized and under collateralized is a deadly recipe."

Only today it comes not from China but from India as a sort of "margin call". Coincidence? China may well step forward and drop the US dollar to oblivion. Europe is very weak and at the mercy of what happens in Greece. Russia has been buying gold hand over fist.  Something's gonna give. 

squid's picture

Qu Bono my friend.


China will do what's in China's interest.

1. Could China collapse the US dollar tomorrow? Sure.

2. Could Russia collapse the US dollar tomorrow? Sure.


But they won't because decisions based on emotions are for losers. Russia could, tomorrow announce that it will take payment for petroleum in Yen, Euros,Canadian dolars, whatever.... That would cause a US Treasury sell off because WHY would you need to hold US dollars if you can buy oil in something else? The Saudis, Iraqi, Kuawaits would have to follow suit.


China could dump US treasuries tommorrow if they wanted to.


But they won't be cause its not in their long term interest to. They have 1,200 billion of the damn things, why would they want to instantaneously devalue their holdings?


Everyday there is no confrontation with the United States China and Russia grow stonger and the USA weaker. China doesn't have to face the seventh fleet int he pacific, China just has to wait until the USA can no longer afford to fuel the seventh fleet in the pacific. if you can add and work a spread sheet, you know that day is coming. If gas goes to 100 bucks a gallon for Americans its also a hundred bucks a gallon for the Navy....a single destroyer takes LOTS of gallons. The only ships in a carrier task force that are nuclear are the attack sub and the carrier, the rest need diesel.


Russia and China will wait, buy and mine gold, let their economies peculate along and wait. That's not to say they don't have their own internal problems, they do. but one problem they do NOT have is a 220 trillion entitlement problem that you and I know congress and the Fed will try and inflate away....100 bucks for a gallon of gas my friends, that is coming. Not tomorrow of course, but its coming.




Renfield's picture

<<decisions based on emotions are for losers.>>

You both make excellent points but I'm leaning to Holter on this one. I think to date, and for the VERY NEAR future (i.e., weeks or months), China & Iran & Russia & ROW have been following squid's plan. I am sure this is why PMs have been capped, lately with daily interventions. I think CHINA has been the one doing this thru its banking vassals (esp. JPig), setting the price at not so low that an instant sale is declared on PMs leading to a run on the market, and not so high that people will think they're a 'good investment' but rather will be inclined to shun them as poor. China, after all, is the world's expert at price-fixing and they know how best to do it to match popular psychology. Unlike all the other markets, which are so obviously rigged that even the MSM and central banks are starting to worry, the PM market rigging has been relatively subtle and very successful as beneficial for China. I believe this is because they are the main driver of that rigging.

HOWEVER, I have been seeing over the past 2 years the US making, as squid writes, "decisions based on emotions", to the point that their foreign policy is such utter chaos that even their allies are beginning to desert. Europe will not much longer support those Russian sanctions, Greece or no Greece. Europe cannot afford to be left out of the Eurasian Economic Zone, or the Chinese Silk Road, for much longer. US's stupid foreign policy blunders come at great cost to Europe, at a time when their own currencies and credit markets are in big trouble. Not to mention the social and political unrest as disastrous immigration backfires and 'terrorism' incidents continue to accelerate. In a time of economic depression, protectionism, and fear, no-one wants a hothead at the controls of the world's most lethal weapons.

In other words, the Anglo-Zionist Axis (as I call it), which is largely based in the US, is beginning now to OBVIOUSLY lose the worldwide currency war (WW3). As squid writes, decisions based on emotions are for losers and the AZ Axis has now made a series of such decisions. Threatening both China and Russia with hot war like this is the height of stupidity; no-one can support it. The entire Middle East hates them. Their decisions are becoming extremely destructive for all, and they are starting to look crazy enough to opt for world destruction rather than surrender. There may not be much time left before they become this desperate; and I am not sure that cooler heads are willing to extend more patience and wait, if this is the risk. The Anglo-Zionists are the only ones who want, or need, WW3 to go 'hot'. They will not be allowed to carry this out, and so they have already lost.

So, from geo-political events lately, I think that while squid has been right up to now and for a short time forward, at some point this year that patience is going to run out. I think Bill Holter is correct in his call on this one. The USA is about to suffer the same collapse as the USSR did when they became too crazy for anyone to work with. I agree that this is a big 'tell' from India, that the jig is just about up.

Here, BTW, is a link to Holter's article:

JailBanksters's picture

The Banks have been sytematically destroying all form of currency and Items that can be used as currency, they started with Silver, once broken they moved to Gold, once broken they tried to break Bitcoin then moved to Oil, once broken they then moved to Coffee Beens. What's next.

It has to be something recognised  and used Internationally, Diamonds ?. The Rothschilds run that, they are not going to tinker with that one. Beer maybe

Seasmoke's picture

Since Im stacking Bourbon, will go with that one

shouldvekilledthem's picture

Anyone else suspects that 21inc is the troyan horse planned to break btc?

Zero Point's picture

Aaaand it's gone.

tarabel's picture



Damn, I wanted that one. Now I got to think of something else to say.

TheReplacement's picture

Biggest gold heist since....

honestann's picture



indaknow's picture

There is a reason for the tradition ...such as when .gov comes round offering incentives. lol