Hallmarking centres gearing up for gold monetisation

With the announcement of a gold monetisation scheme, collection and purity testing centres (CPTCs) are gearing up for significant activity.

If one wants to deposit gold under the new gold monetisation scheme (GMS), she/he has to first visit a CPTC, traditionally called hallmarking centres. Success of the GMS depends on the infrastructure of these CPTCs. While government data released earlier showed 331 such centres, latest figures by the Indian Association of Hallmarking Centres show the figure is 349.

“When the scheme will be launched before Diwali, 100 such centres would have been equipped with the facilities required under the scheme, with licences from the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS),” says K Anand Kumar, secretary of the Indian Association of Hallmarking Centres. These centres are being audited by the BIS. Four centres in Mumbai, three in Gujarat and two in Delhi have been audited.

For offering melting facilities, many centres have to invest Rs 4-5 lakh.

Kumar said CPTCs across all major cities, including metros and state capitals, would be equipped when the scheme is likely to be launched (November 5). While no one expects a rush to deposit gold when the scheme is launched, there are many takers for gold bonds and Ashok Chakra-embossed gold coins, being launched simultaneously.

According to the government notification on GMS, a customer will have to first go to a CPTC, get the gold melted and purity-tested, deposit the gold and get a certificate. The bank will open an account in this regard, based on the certificate, and credit the gold.

There is, however, a catch. The Bank, the CPTC and the gold refinery concerned have to sign a tripartite agreement for collecting gold from the customer, refining it to acceptable gold bars and storing it.

Also, several states and Union territories have no CPTCs. For instance, the country’s northern and north eastern regions don’t have such facilities, while Chhattisgarh, Goa and Jharkhand have one each. Andhra Pradesh has 19, Delhi 25, Gujarat 27, Karnataka 27, Kerala 39, Tamil Nadu 57, West Bengal 24 and Maharashtra 38.

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