Various gold investment and savings schemes such as the Gold Monetisation Scheme floated by Central government has met with little success due to lack of awareness among the masses, according to a recent study. The study was conducted by researchers of Institute for Financial Management and Research (IFMR) and funded by India Gold Policy Centre (IGPC) of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad (IIM-A).
The research study had covered 1000 respondents across four districts, namely Kolhapur in Maharashtra, Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu, Hooghly in West Bengal and Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh, said Head of IGPC, Prof. Arvind Sahay. The findings of the study has revealed that out of total 1000 respondents, only five persons were aware about government’s gold schemes, such as Gold Monetisation Scheme, Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme and Gold Coin Scheme.
“We found that people had little or no awareness about these three gold schemes, which were introduced two years back by the Centre. Out of 1000 respondents in four districts, only five knew about these schemes,” said Misha Sharma, one of the researchers from IFMR.
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Commenting on the findings of the study, which was aimed at finding out the importance of gold as a tool for financial inclusion, Sahay suggested that government should beef up its marketing efforts to popularise these schemes.
“Around 15,000 tonnes of gold, in the form of jewellery is lying idle with citizens across the country. The study had revealed that people are willing to invest in these schemes if they got adequate information about them. It shows that there is indeed a potential,” said Sahay.
“Apart from beefing up marketing efforts, banks should also be motivated to promote gold loan, so that they go out and convince people to opt for such loans. We don’t see such motivation by banks at present,” he added.
The study had revealed that gold loans were primarily being used for smoothening household consumption and for repaying debts. Nearly half of the respondents said they have taken gold loan for productive purposes, such as for business, education and house repairs.