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  • Understanding the Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme

    Owning gold is a dream most of us have, thanks to the importance and value of gold in our lives. With dwindling demand and rising costs, this dream often fails to materialise, but it doesn’t deter us from trying. Investing in gold is considered a safe and smart choice and it doesn’t come as a surprise to know that India is among the top two consumers of gold in the world, accounting for a major chunk of gold purchased.

    What is the Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme?

    The government of India recently launched a Sovereign Gold Scheme to provide an alternate option when it comes to owning gold. This scheme aims to reduce the demand for physical gold, thereby keeping a tab on gold imports and utilising resources effectively. With the Reserve Bank of India issuing these gold bonds, it brings in transparency and trust, providing an avenue wherein people can own gold without having to worry about its storage or safety.

    In essence, a Sovereign Gold Bond is a government issued security which represents a certain weight of gold. Owning a gold bond of a certain weight is akin to owning that quantity of gold, albeit in a different form.

    How does Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme operate?

    Under the Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme, the Reserve Bank of India will issue the bonds on behalf of the Government of India. The bonds will be sold at post offices and banks and issued in denomination of gram. They will issue these bonds on payment of money. Later on, the bonds will be connected to the price of gold. Investors have to pay the bond price in cash. From one person, the Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme would accept a minimum investment of 2 gm gold and a maximum investment of 500 gm in a single fiscal year. The bonds will pay a yearly interest of 2.75% to investors. Interest would be paid semi-annually based on the initial value of investments issued for the year 2015-16.

    Eligibility for Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme

    Individuals who are keen to participate in the Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme need to satisfy the following simple eligibility criteria.

    • Indian resident – This scheme is open only to Indian residents, with the Foreign Exchange Management Act of 1999 formulating the eligibility criteria.
    • Individuals/groups – Individuals, associations, trusts, HUFs, etc. are all eligible to invest in this scheme, provided they are Indian residents. Under the scheme, one can jointly invest in bonds with other eligible members.
    • Minors – This bond can be purchased by guardians or parents on behalf of minors.

    Features and Benefits of Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme

    Some of the unique features and benefits of this scheme are mentioned below.
    • Gold denomination – These bonds will be issued in multiple weight denominations, starting from 1 gram onwards, providing flexibility in terms of purchasing gold which suits the needs of an individual.
    • Format – One has an option to hold these bonds either in paper or demat form, whichever is convenient to an individual.
    • Flexibility – Investments in this scheme are flexible, with one having an option to choose the amount he/she wishes to invest.
    • Interest – Investments in this scheme are eligible to earn interest every year.
    • Safety – There is no need for storage or safety of gold under this scheme, as the gold isn’t physically given to an investor immediately.
    • Purity – Since it is backed by the government, one is assured of purity of gold when they invest in the scheme.
    • Maturity – This scheme has a maturity period of 8 years.
    • Gift/transfer – Investors can choose to gift or transfer these bonds to others, provided they meet the necessary eligibility criteria.
    • Premature withdrawal – Premature encashment of these bonds is allowed after 5 years of issue.
    • Loan collateral – Investors can use these bonds as collateral against loans.
    • Application – The application process is simple and fast, with banks and post offices permitted to provide this service.
    • Payment modes – One can opt to purchase these bonds through multiple payment modes, with cheques, cash, DDs or electronic transfer accepted.
    • Nomination – This scheme has a provision for nomination, adhering to the rules of the land.
    • Tradable – Investors can trade these bonds on stock exchanges, subject to notifications of the Reserve Bank of India.

    Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme Interest rate

    The government has fixed an interest rate on this scheme, with all investors eligible to earn an interest on their investment. The current interest rate stands at 2.75% per annum, with this interest paid every six months. This interest rate can be changed by the government as per its policies.

    Risk associated with Sovereign Gold Bonds

    Gold, is traditionally a very safe investment, and typically the risk associated with Sovereign gold bonds is very low. However, given the fact that gold rates depend on market performance, any drop in gold rates could put the capital at risk, which would be the case even if one owned physical gold. Regardless of market rates, an investor should take solace in the fact that the amount of gold he purchased doesn’t change.

    KYC Documents required

    The following KYC documents are required to invest in Sovereign Gold Bonds:

    • Proof of identity (Aadhaar card/PAN or TAN /Passport / Voter ID card)
    • KYC process will be carried on by bond issuing banks, agents or post offices.

    Maximum /minimum amount of investments under Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme

    Sovereign Gold Bonds are issued in denominations of 1 gram of gold and multiples of it. The gold scheme accepts a minimum investment of 2 gm and a maximum investment of 500 gm form a single person in a fiscal year.

    FAQs:

    1. Where do I get the application for SGB?

      The application form for SGB will be available AT issuing post offices and scheduled commercial banks. It can also be downloaded form the official website of Reserve Bank of India.

    2. Is a minor eligible for investing in SGB?

      Yes, minors are also eligible for investing in SGB under the supervision of guardian/parents.

    3. Is there any risk involved in investing in SGB?

      Yes, there might be a risk of capital loss when the market rate of gold goes down. But, it does not affect an investor's units of gold for which he/she has paid.

    4. Can I apply for SGBs online?

      Yes, you can apply for these bonds online by visiting the official website of designated commercial banks issuing these bonds.

    5. Can I take a loan against Sovereign Gold Bonds?

      Yes, you can take a loan by using these bonds as securities. These bonds can be used as collaterals at banks, financial Institutions and other non-banking financial companies.

    6. Is tax deducted at source (TDS) for investing in SGBs?

      No. Tax is not deducted at source.

    7. How do I pay for these bonds?

      There a number of payment options available to pay for these bonds. You can pay via demand draft/electronic fund transfer/ cash or cheques.

    8. Is it possible to invest in Sovereign Gold Bonds in DEMAT account?

      Yes, you can keep these bonds in DEMAT account.

    9. Can Sovereign Gold Bonds be traded?

      Yes, Sovereign Gold Bonds are tradable on stock exchanges as per the RBI notification.

    10. Can I sell or transfer Sovereign Gold Bonds purchased by me?

      Yes, you can sell or transfer your bonds as per provisions of the Government Securities Act.

    11. Can I purchase bonds worth 500gm every year?

      Yes, you can purchase 500 gm worth of gold every year under the Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme.

    12. Is nomination facility is available for SGBs?

      Yes, nomination facility is available for SGBs. A nomination form is attached with the application form.

    Read more on Gold

    News About Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme

    • Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme Exceeds Expectations, Additional Tranches Planned

      With the positive response given to the Sovereign Gold Bond schemes launched in November 2015, the government has planned to roll out more such tranches in the current fiscal year 2016-17.

      The response to the latest tranche, which ran from July 18th- 22nd, stands at close to 1.95 lakh. The revenue accrued by the government through the scheme stands at Rs.919 crore, with the figure set to rise as details of the latest tranche are yet to come in.

      Collection centres across the country are still processing the applications due to the tremendous response received, and this has galvanised the government into announcing additional tranches in the near future.

      The current tranche (July 18th-22nd) saw gold priced at Rs.3,119 per gram, with the minimum purchase being 1 gram. Capital gains tax on redemption of the bonds was exempted, and the bonds were issued in demat form. This led to the huge response compared to the previous tranche, where minimum purchase was at 2 grams of gold.

      2nd August 2016

    • Government sets Rs.3,119 per gram as rate for Gold Bond scheme

      Government has finally set the price for the 4th Tranche for Sovereign Gold Bond Schemes that opens for subscription today. The government has reduced the minimum subscription denomination to 1 gm in the 4th tranche that will be open for investment for institutional and individual investors . The minimum subscription has been reduced to 1 gram in order to attract small time investors. The Sovereign Gold Bonds can now be purchased from NSE and BSE along with bank branches and post offices.

      21st July 2016

    • Ministry of Finance launches the Fourth Tranche of Sovereign Gold Bonds

      The Ministry of Finance just launched the Fourth Tranche of Sovereign Gold Bonds. The Gold Bonds will be available for investment by resident and institutional investors from 18th to 22nd of July, 2016. The Fourth Tranche of SGB scheme marks the first series in the year of 2016-2017. The issue price of the gold bonds have been set at Rs.3,119 per gram based on the average of last week's price of physical gold. SGB was introduced with the aim of reducing demand for physical gold and diverting savings into financial instruments.

      20th July 2016

    • Sovereign Gold Scheme Effective Investment Option

      The fourth tranche of Sovereign Gold Bond was launched by the government and will remain open until 22nd July. The price this time has been decided at Rs.3,119 per gram and minimum subscription has been reduced from two grams to one gram. The maximum that an institution or an individual can invest up to is 500 grams and rate of interest is fixed at 2.75% which is payable every six months.

      These bonds can be purchased from BSE and NSE apart from certain post offices and bank branches and the Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited. Tenure applicable is 8 years with options for individuals to exit at 5th, 6th and 7th year, bonds are issued in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 50 and 100 grams.

      20th July 2016

    • Sovereign Gold Bonds Commence Trading, Gains more than 7%

      Sovereign gold bonds started trading on the stock exchanges and finished the very first day with remarkable gains in excess of 7%. The price of the bonds per gram was Rs.2,930 at the start of trading, and Rs.3,147.75 per gram while closing, marking an increase of 7.43% from the National Stock Exchange’s opening price. The highest price recorded by the bonds during the day was Rs.3,258 per gram, marking an increase of 10.38%. The turnover at both BSE and NSE was recorded at Rs.23.18 lacs. The main reason as to why sovereign gold bonds are recording such impressive figures is due to the fact that they offer investors an option of diversifying their portfolio without having to purchase the metal in physical form.

      14th June 2016

    • Sovereign Gold Bond Eligible for Trading

      On Monday, the Reserve Bank of India said that Sovereign gold bonds could be used to trade stock exchanges. This scheme was announced by the government in 2015. As of now, three tranches of these bonds have been provided and BSE has commenced mock trading of these securities. Fourth tranche is being expected.

      Bonds will come with a fixed interest rate of 2.75 % per year on the initial amount invested.

      Interest will be paid half yearly and the final interest will be provided on maturity along with the principal amount. This scheme was introduced as an alternative to buying gold physically and the tenure is 8 years with a 5th year exit option.

      9th June 2016

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