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Gold-related schemes landmark: ex-RBI Guv

By Staff Reporter

GUWAHATI, Dec 19 - Former Reserve Bank governor Dr Y Venugopal Reddy today stressed the need to clear the uncertainties related to gold policy in India vis-a-vis the issue of black money.

Delivering the twelfth Dr Amitabh Chowdhury Annual Memorial Lecture on the issue of gold policy in India through video conferencing from Hyderabad, Dr Reddy said that the public policy related to gold should ideally address three different sources of demand for gold: demand arising out of cultural factors, demand for gold as a form of saving and the demand for gold arising out of black money.

He advocated development of the financial sector in such a way that it provides some other reliable alternative to gold as a form of saving.

�Gold has a special place in the lives of Indians and more recently our public policies are focused on it. Above all, in India, it is often unfortunately linked to black money, the bane of India and there is a fog of uncertainty in our policies dealing with both gold and black money,� he said.

Touching upon the government�s initiative related to gold, he stated that the recently launched gold coins schemes, gold monetization schemes and issuance of sovereign gold bonds are landmark in the sense that the government has attempted to devise the schemes to meet different needs of the consumers. He however, also stated that the implications of the schemes would depend on the manner in which they are operated.

�The bulk supply of gold in the Indian markets is through import, both from official channels as well as non-official channels, known as gold smuggling,� he added.

Giving a brief overview of the policy decisions related to gold in India, Dr Reddy said that a number of policy actions were recommended by several committees in this regard, dealing extensively with both macro and micro issues, but no follow-up action on such reports are in public domain.

The memorial lecture series is organised in memory of Dr Amitabh Chowdhury, a promising cardiothoracic surgeon who met with an untimely death in September 2003 at the age of 33. A memorial trust instituted in his name organises the event every year.

Earlier, Dhiresh Narayan Chowdhury, father of Dr Amitabh Chowdhury delivered the welcome address. The memorial lecture was followed by an interactive session with Dr Reddy.

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