A good delivery standard signifies a greater organised trade in the yellow metal
Despite being one of the largest consumers and importers of gold, India does not exert any significant impact in the discovery of gold prices and depends on the international markets for the benchmark price, which is based on London prices. By promoting and adopting Indian Good Delivery Standards (IGDS) as defined by Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), Indian gold markets will become more organised.
Let discuss how IGDS is beneficial to various entities:
1) Government and country
The development of a good delivery standard for any location or country means that there is greater organised trade, formalisation, and recognition that the refiners in the country can produce world-class bullion bars which is acceptable to the larger business community operating in the bullion & jewellery segment. This will go a long way in making Indian Good Delivery (IGD) standard synonymous with good quality and remove the quality discrepancies across various markets in India and bring it in line with the single standard as defined by BIS.
Close to 90 per cent of this gold demand is met through imports, adding to the country’s current account deficit. Of the total gold imports, close to 40 per cent are dore by refiners while the rest is finished gold imported by banks. But, following the dramatic fall in imports of bullion and dore bar (a semi-pure alloy), gold refiners are meeting the current physical demand by recycling jewellery scrap. If the GMS is incentivised for banks by allowing them to open gold metal accounts for customers, that can go a long way in helping use old gold from domestic holdings to meet the country's requirement of new gold. This can happen if banks are permitted to buy 'Indian good delivery' bullion from BIS licensed gold refiners instead of buying from refineries abroad
In its endeavour to widen and deepen the Indian capital markets, support the Prime Minister's vision of "Make in India" and "Atmanirbhar Bharat" of a self-reliant nation and commitment of the Government notified standards, BSE and NSE adopted India good delivery standard BIS IS 17278: 2019 on its commodity platform for gold and silver deliveries from September 2020. Gold bars produced by Indian gold refiners are now accepted for delivery on the NSE and BSE for futures. Even Gold ETFs listed at NSE and BSE will start accepting the deliveries from Indian refiners eventually. Once the international bullion exchange in Gift City starts, hopefully, IGD bars will get delivered as well, which will increase liquidity.
4) Gold Refiners
Under the GMS, Assaying & Hallmarking (A&H) Centers recognised by BIS have been qualified to act as Collection and Purity Testing Centres (CPTC). The gold collected by CPTCs is to be refined by refineries licensed by BIS. And as we know, India does not have ground mines of gold but huge household reserves which can be tapped because Indian gold refiners will now invest more in becoming CPTC as their gold is more accepted
5) Retail customer
Gold lying in customers' bank lockers or households does not earn them anything. When they store gold in a bank locker, it costs bank locker charges to keep it safe. The Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) will help them earn interest on their gold deposits, which will add to their savings. The success of IGD will lead to the success of the GMS and will help retail customers earn an income on their holdings.
Thus IGDS is beneficial a) to government as it will bring imports down and eventual reduction of pressure from CAD and forex reserves, b) to banks, as they would be able to buy BIS licensed gold from local refiners, c) to exchanges as they accept delivery of gold bars produced by Indian refiners and d) to Indian refiners, as they refining volumes would rise. In short, the whole cycle gets completed. Hence, the biggest beneficiary will be the end consumer and is a big deal for everyone.
The author is the Director, Augmont