In this article we have compiled 18 things to know about Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme 2015 and 36 frequently asked question on the scheme. Sovereign Gold Bond are government securities denominated in grams of gold. They are substitutes for holding physical gold. Investors have to pay the issue price in cash and the bonds will be redeemed in cash on maturity. The Bond is issued by Reserve Bank on behalf of Government of India.

18 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT SOVEREIGN GOLD BOND SCHEME 2015

1. Eligibility for Investment:

The Bonds under this Scheme may be held by a person resident in India, being an individual, in his capacity as such individual, or on behalf of minor child, or jointly with any other individual. “Person resident in India” is defined under section 2(v) read with section 2 (u) of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999.

2. Form of Security

The Bonds shall be issued in the form of Government of India Stock in accordance with section 3 of the Government Securities Act, 2006. The investors will be issued a Holding Certificate (Form C). The Bonds shall be eligible for conversion into de-mat form.

3. Date of Issue

Date of issuance shall be November 26, 2015.

The investors can apply for the Bonds in receiving offices from November 05, 2015 to November 20, 2015. The issuance can be closed by Government of India earlier than November 20, 2015 with a prior notice.

4. Denomination

The Bonds shall be denominated in units of one gram of gold and multiples thereof. Minimum investment in the Bonds shall be 2 grams with a maximum subscription of 500 grams per person per fiscal year (April – March). In case of joint holding, the limit applies to the first applicant.

5. Issue Price

Price of the Bonds shall be fixed in Indian Rupees on the basis of the previous week’s (Monday – Friday) simple average closing price for gold of 999 purity, published by the India Bullion and Jewellers Association Ltd. (IBJA).

6. Interest

The Bonds shall bear interest at the rate of 2.75 per cent (fixed rate) per annum on the amount of initial investment. Interest shall be paid in half-yearly rests and the last interest shall be payable on maturity along with the principal.

7. Receiving Offices

Scheduled commercial banks (excluding RRBs) and designated Post Offices (as may be notified) are authorized to receive applications for the Bonds either directly or through agents.

8. Payment Options

Payment shall be accepted in Indian Rupees through Cash or Demand Drafts or Cheque or Electronic banking. Cheque or draft should be drawn in favour of the bank / post office (Receiving Office), specified in paragraph 7 above and payable at the place where the applications are tendered.

9. Redemption

  1. The Bonds shall be repayable on the expiration of eight years from the date of issue. Pre-mature redemption of the Bond is allowed from fifth year of the date of issue on the interest payment dates.
  2. The redemption price shall be fixed in Indian Rupees on the basis of the previous week’s (Monday – Friday) simple average closing price for gold of 999 purity, published by IBJA.

10. Repayment

The receiving office shall inform the investor of the date of maturity of the Bonds, one month before its maturity.

11. Eligibility for Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR)

The investment in the Bonds shall be eligible for SLR.

12. Loan against Bonds

The Bonds may be used as collateral for loans. The Loan to Value ratio will be as applicable to ordinary gold loan mandated by the RBI from time to time. The lien on the Bonds shall be marked in the depository by the authorized banks.

13. Tax Treatment

Interest on the Bonds shall be taxable as per the provisions of the Income-tax Act, 1961. Capital gains tax treatment will be the same as that for physical gold.

14. Applications

Subscription for the Bonds may be made in the prescribed application form (Form ‘A’)  or in any other form as near as thereto stating clearly the grams of gold and the full name and address of the applicant. The receiving office shall issue an acknowledgment receipt in Form ‘B’ to the applicant.

15. Nomination

Nomination and its cancellation shall be made in Form ‘D’ and Form ‘E’, respectively, in accordance with the provisions of the Government Securities  Act, 2006 (38 of 2006) and the Government Securities Regulations, 2007, published in part III, Section 4 of the Gazette of India dated the 1st December, 2007.

16. Transferability

The Bonds shall be transferable by execution of an Instrument of transfer as in Form ‘F’, in accordance with the provisions of the Government Securities Act, 2006 (38 of 2006) and the Government Securities Regulations, 2007, published in part III, Section 4 of the Gazette of India dated the 1st December, 2007.

17. Tradability in Bonds

The Bonds shall be eligible for trading from such date as may be notified by the Reserve Bank of India.

18. Commission for distribution

Commission for distribution shall be paid at the rate of rupee one per hundred of the total subscription received by the receiving offices on the applications received and receiving offices shall share at least 50% of the commission so received with the agents or sub-agents for the business procured through them.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS/ANSWERS ON SOVEREIGN GOLD BOND SCHEME 2015

(Updated as on June 6, 2016)

1. What is Sovereign Gold Bond (SGB)? Who is the issuer?

SGBs are government securities denominated in grams of gold. They are substitutes for holding physical gold. Investors have to pay the issue price in cash and the bonds will be redeemed in cash on maturity. The Bond is issued by Reserve Bank on behalf of Government of India.

2. Why should I buy SGB rather than physical gold? What are the benefits?

The quantity of gold for which the investor pays is protected, since he receives the ongoing market price at the time of redemption/ premature redemption. The SGB offers a superior alternative to holding gold in physical form. The risks and costs of storage are eliminated. Investors are assured of the market value of gold at the time of maturity and periodical interest. SGB is free from issues like making charges and purity in the case of gold in jewellery form. The bonds are held in the books of the RBI or in demat form eliminating risk of loss of scrip etc.

3. Are there any risks in investing in SGBs?

There may be a risk of capital loss if the market price of gold declines. However, the investor does not lose in terms of the units of gold which he has paid for.

4. Who is eligible to invest in the SGBs?

Persons resident in India as defined under Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 are eligible to invest in SGB. Eligible investors include individuals, HUFs, trusts, universities, charitable institutions, etc.

5. Whether joint holding will be allowed?

Yes, joint holding is allowed.

6. Can a Minor invest in SGB?

Yes. The application on behalf of the minor has to be made by his/her guardian.

7. Where can investors get the application form?

The application form will be provided by the issuing banks/SHCIL offices/designated Post Offices/agents. It can also be downloaded from the RBI’s website. Banks may also provide online application facility.

8. What are the Know-Your-Customer (KYC) norms?

Know-Your-Customer (KYC) norms will be the same as that for purchase of physical form of gold. Identification documents such as Aadhaar card/PAN or TAN /Passport / Voter ID card will be required. KYC will be done by the issuing banks/SHCIL offices/Post Offices/agents. No separate KYC will be needed for receiving bank’s own customers.

9. What is the minimum and maximum limit for investment?

The Bonds are issued in denominations of one gram of gold and in multiples thereof. Minimum investment in the Bond shall be two grams with a maximum buying limit of 500 grams per person per fiscal year (April – March). In case of joint holding, the limit applies to the first applicant.

10. Can I buy 500 grams in the name of each of my family members?

Yes, each family member can buy the bonds in his/her own name if they satisfy the eligibility criteria as defined at Q No.4.

11. Can I buy 500 grams worth of SGB every year?

Yes. One can buy 500 grams worth of gold every year as the ceiling has been fixed on a fiscal year (April-March) basis.

12. Is the limit of 500 grams of gold applicable if I buy on the Exchanges?

The limit of 500 grams per financial year is applicable even if the bond is bought on the exchanges.

13. What is the rate of interest and how will the interest be paid?

The Bonds bear interest at the rate of 2.75 per cent (fixed rate) per annum on the amount of initial investment. Interest will be credited semi-annually to the bank account of the investor and the last interest will be payable on maturity along with the principal.

14. Who are the authorized agencies selling the SGBs?

Bonds are sold through scheduled commercial banks (excluding RRBs), SHCIL offices and designated Post Offices either directly or through their agents.

15. If I apply, am I assured of allotment?

If the customer meets the eligibility criteria, produces a valid identification document and remits the application money on time, he/she will receive the allotment.

16. When will the customers be issued Holding Certificate?

The customers will be issued Certificate of Holding on the date of issuance of the SGB. Certificate of Holding can be collected from the issuing banks/SHCIL offices/Post Offices/agents or obtained directly from RBI on email, if email address is provided in the application form.

17. Can I apply online?

Yes. A customer can apply online through the website of the listed scheduled commercial banks.

18. At what price the bonds are sold?

Price of bond will be fixed in Indian Rupees on the basis of the previous week’s (Monday – Friday) simple average price for gold of 999 purity published by the India Bullion and Jewellers’ Association Ltd. (IBJA). The issue price will be disseminated by the Reserve Bank of India

19. Will RBI publish the rate of gold applicable every day?

The price of gold for the relevant tranche will be published on RBI website two days before the issue opens.

20. What will I get on redemption?

On maturity, the redemption proceeds will be equivalent to the prevailing market value of grams of gold originally invested in Indian Rupees. The redemption price will be based on the simple average of previous week’s (Monday-Friday) closing gold price for 999 purity published by the IBJA.

21. How will I get the redemption amount?

Both interest and redemption proceeds will be credited to the bank account furnished by the customer at the time of buying the bond.

22. What are the procedures involved during redemption?

  • The investor will be advised one month before maturity regarding the ensuing maturity of the bond.
  • On the date of maturity, the maturity proceeds will be credited to the bank account as per the details on record.
  • In case there are changes in any details, such as, account number, email ids, then the investor must intimate the bank/SHCIL/PO promptly.

23. Can I encash the bond anytime I want? Is premature redemption allowed?

Though the tenor of the bond is 8 years, early encashment/redemption of the bond is allowed after fifth year from the date of issue on coupon payment dates. The bond will be tradable on Exchanges, if held in demat form. It can also be transferred to any other eligible investor.

24. What do I have to do if I want to exit my investment?

In case of premature redemption, investors can approach the concerned bank/SHCIL offices/Post Office/agent thirty days before the coupon payment date. Request for premature redemption can only be entertained if the investor approaches the concerned bank/post office at least one day before the coupon payment date. The proceeds will be credited to the customer’s bank account provided at the time of applying for the bond.

25. Can I gift the bonds to a relative or friend on some occasion?

The bond can be gifted/transferable to a relative/friend/anybody who fulfills the eligibility criteria (as mentioned at Q.no. 4). The Bonds shall be transferable in accordance with the provisions of the Government Securities Act 2006 and the Government Securities Regulations 2007 before maturity by execution of an instrument of transfer which is available with the issuing agents.

26. Can I use these securities as collateral for loans?

Yes, these securities are eligible to be used as collateral for loans from banks, financial Institutions and Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC). The Loan to Value ratio will be the same as applicable to ordinary gold loan prescribed by RBI from time to time.

27. What are the tax implications on i) interest and ii) capital gain?

Interest on the Bonds will be taxable as per the provisions of the Income-tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961). Capital gains tax treatment will be the same as that for physical gold.

28. Is tax deducted at source (TDS) applicable on the bond?

TDS is not applicable on the bond. However, it is the responsibility of the bond holder to comply with the tax laws.

29. Who will provide other customer services to the investors after issuance of the bonds?

The issuing banks/SHCIL offices/Post Offices/agents through which these securities have been purchased will provide other customer services such as change of address, early redemption, nomination, grievance redressal, transfer applications etc.

30. What are the payment options for investing in the Sovereign Gold Bonds?

Payment can be made through cash (upto Rs. 20000)/cheques/demand draft/electronic fund transfer.

31. Whether nomination facility is available for these investments?

Yes, nomination facility is available as per the provisions of the Government Securities Act 2006 and Government Securities Regulations, 2007. A nomination form is available along with Application form.

32. Is the maximum limit of 500 gms applicable in case of joint holding?

The maximum limit will be applicable to the first applicant in case of a joint holding for that specific application.

33. Are institutions like banks allowed to invest in Sovereign Gold Bonds?

There is no bar on investment by banks in Sovereign Gold Bonds. These will qualifyfor SLR.

34. Can I get the bonds in demat form?

The bonds can be held in demat account by making a specific request for the same at the time of application.

Till the process of dematerialization is completed, the bonds will be held in RBI’s books. The facility for conversion to demat will also be available subsequent to allotment of the bond.

35. Can I trade these bonds?

The bonds are tradable from a date to be notified by RBI. (It may be noted that only bonds held in demat form with depositories can be traded in stock exchanges) The bonds can also be sold and transferred as per provisions of Government Securities Act, 2006

36. Can I get part repayment of these bonds at the time of exercising put option?

Yes, part holdings can be redeemed in multiples of one gm.

37. How do I contact RBI to address my queries regarding Sovereign Gold Bond ?

A dedicated e-mail has been created by the Reserve Bank of India to receive queries from members of public on Sovereign Gold Bonds. Investors can mail their queries to this email id.

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