1st October 2019 Prelims Sure Shot
SOVEREIGN GOLD BONDS
Why in news?
- The government has fixed the price at Rs 3,443 per gram for the new series of sovereign gold bonds (SGBs) opening today.
SGBs are government securities denominated in grams of gold.
They are substitutes for holding physical gold.
The sovereign gold bond scheme was launched in 2015 with an objective to reduce the demand for physical gold and shift a part of the domestic savings, used for purchase of gold, into financial savings.
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.
The Bonds will be denominated in multiples of gram(s) of gold with a basic unit of 1 gram.
Minimum investment in the bonds is one gram with a maximum limit of subscription of 500 gram per person per fiscal year (April-March). The maximum limit of subscription is 4 kg for individual and Hindu Undivided Family (HUF) and 20 kg for trusts and similar entities per fiscal (April-March).
The tenor of the Bond will be for a period of 8 years with exit option in 5th, 6thyear and 7th year.
The Bonds will be restricted for sale to resident entities including individuals, HUFs, Trusts, Universities and Charitable Institutions.
Joint holding of the account is allowed and Minors can also invest in it where the application on behalf of the minor has to be made by his/her guardian.
Bonds will be sold through banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices and recognised stock exchanges.
The interest on Gold Bonds shall be taxable.
Benefits of SGB
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.
Complaint Management System (CMS)
• It is a software application to facilitate RBI’s grievance redressal processes.
• Members of public can access the CMS portal at RBI’s website to lodge their complaints against any of the entities regulated by RBI.
• It provides features such as acknowledgement through SMS/Email notification(s), status tracking through unique registration number, receipt of closure advises and filing of Appeals, where applicable.
• It also solicits voluntary feedback on the customer’s experience.
• The CMS also has facilities for RBI officials handling the complaints to track the progress of redressal.
• The information available in CMS could also be used for regulatory and supervisory interventions, if required. With the launch of CMS, the processing of complaints received in the offices of Banking Ombudsman (BO) and Consumer Education and Protection Cells (CEPCs) of RBI has been digitalized.
• According to the Wildlife Trust of India, train collisions have killed 266 elephants from 1987 to 2017.
• The collisions seem to occur where there is a high elephant habitat, or places termed ‘elephant corridors’.
• There are about 20 spots where the rail track crosses such elephant corridors in India. To prevent collision of elephants with trains in future, the Northeast Frontier Railway (NFR) adopted ‘Plan Bee’
• It uses a device costing about Rs 2,000 which will be installed at level crossings at these accident prone areas.
• The device works by loudly broadcasting the buzz of swarming honeybees, audible up to 600 meters, a sound that would keep the elephants away.
• This is because the elephants have a natural fear of the perilous stings of the insects.