India's appetite for Gold Investment still isn't sated...
THE INDIAN GOVERNMENT is extending a novel scheme to sell Gold Coins through post offices to several states in the wake of the program's stupendous success over the last two months, reports Commodity Online in Bangalore.
India Post in association with the World Gold Council and Reliance Money launched the innovative plan in October. The scheme offers 24-carat gold coins (0.999 fineness) in 0.5g, 1.5g and 8g sizes, and people can Buy Gold coins through their local post offices.
In the first phase, these gold coins were sold in over 100 post offices in Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Gujarat. The initiative was then introduced in Punjab, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan. And now India Post chief postmaster general M P Rajan says that the gold coins selling scheme has been extended to the southern state of Karnataka.
"Under the scheme launched on October 15th in Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Tamil Nadu, in the first phase, 8,500 gold coins were sold in the first 15 days," said Rajan.
Each coin comes with certification from Valcambi Switzerland and quality packaging, as well as a number and assayer certificate. The gold coins are packed in a sealed cover with the certification from Valcambi, Switzerland with the India Post logo.
India Post is offering a 5% special discount to its customers during this festive season which will be valid up till the end of the current month.
India Post, considering the demand from its customers, has taken the initiative to keep post offices open on the festival day to sell gold coins to interested customers.
Department of Posts has been selling 24 carat "Gold Coins" through select Post Offices effective from 15th October 2008. Apart from enhancing the revenue of the Department, this has enabled India Post to usher in a new image of India Post as a modern and relevant organization in all areas of life.
Rajan said India Post has been overwhelmed with the very good response from the public to this new initiative. The Diwali festive season last month had prompted a large number of customers, specially Government servants and small investors to queue up in the Post office to get gold coins.
Small investors are buying gold coins from post office for two obvious reasons. First, the gold coin prices are low as compared to other suppliers, such as the traditionally high-margin dealers on every high street. This makes the service very competitive and economical. Second, Post Office is focusing on the low-end denominations such as half-grams and up, making them more accessible to the most modest investors.
Gold is the latest addition to a range of retail activity that India Post has already taken up. India Post has been selling various products under Retail Post category and there is sustained growth in the revenue from these activities. Post Office sells UPSC applications and university applications, it retails Darjeeling Tea in West Bengal, it markets Aloe Vera products in Gujarat and it takes orders for distribution of Prasadams of various temples in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.