Put gold to work for economy: World Gold Council

Mumbai-India (Oct 5)  Gold should be put to work for the Indian economy, creating jobs, developing skills, generating exports and revenues, the World Gold Council (WGC) said Saturday unveiling its Vision 2020 for the industry.

"Our vision for gold is that it should be put to work for the economy, creating jobs, developing skills, generating exports and revenues - an essential part of the financial, economic and social structure of the country," The WGC said in a statement at the second India International Bullion Summit in Mumbai.

Stocks of gold in India currently stand at over 22,000 tonnes held by individual households and temples.

"As a nation we need to focus on measures that will unlock the potentially transformative value of the gold stored in millions of private household in order to fund nation's growth. To do this we must find ways of mobilising and monetising the household savings imbedded in gold stocks," Somasundaram P.R., managing director, India, said while speaking at the inaugural session.

This vision is aimed at outlining objectives for the industry that address the savings habit underpinning gold demand, support value addition, increase employment opportunities and benefit the industry in an organised way without curbing supply or impacting the current account deficit.

"Our vision 2020 for the Indian gold industry is to transform the country into the world's jeweller, by increasing gold jewellery exports five-fold and doubling employment in the sector," he added.

The WGC said in the next five years, India should target to increase gold jewellery export by five-fold. "India should be 'jeweller to the world' and increase gold jewellery exports to $40 billion (five-fold) from current $8 billion."

It suggested that in the next five years the sector should double the number of people it employs creating 5 million new jobs across the gold value chain - manufacturing, retailing, assaying and recycling.

"Forty percent of gold demand should be met through domestic stocks and 60 percent from imports and mining. Big and meaningful thrust should be given to enhancing gold deposit schemes, extend duty benefit and import entitlement for domestic gold deposits," the statement said.

It said 75 percent of gold sold should be standardised and hallmarked as there is higher loan-to-value ratio for hallmarked jewellery. "There should be mandatory hallmarking for pieces above a designated selling price."

And there should be 'Karigar welfare scheme' towards skill development and training of artisans.

The WGC suggested starting of 'gold tourism' circuit, showcasing handcrafted Indian jewellery.

Source: BusinessStandard