India repatriates 100 tonnes of gold for the first time since 1991

India repatriates 100 tonnes of gold for the first time since 1991

New Delhi. The central bank of India has relocated more than 100 metric tonnes of gold from the United Kingdom to its domestic vaults. This move is considerably the first time since early 1991 that the country has decided to stock precious metal at this scale. 

As per reports, a similar quantity of gold may be retransferred in the coming months. Sources have revealed that the reason behind such transfers was mostly logistical and also for diversification of the storage. 

How much gold is stored overseas?

According to the data, at the end of March RBI had around 822.1 tonnes of gold, of which 413.8 tonnes were stored overseas. The amount of precious metal that RBI has stocked up has increased gradually over the years.

It has added up to 27.5 tonnes during the last financial year. The move comes during such a crucial time when countries are increasing their gold reserves which is often seen as a safeguard against currency volatility and geopolitical turmoil. 

Massive logistic exercises carried out with intense planning 

The decision to stock up 100 metrics of gold, which is nearly a fourth of the stock that the country had by the end of March, was done after months of planning. It was executed precisely as a massive logistical exercise was conducted. It involved coordination between the finance ministry, RBI and several other wings of government. 

How was it done?

The RBI firstly got a customs duty exemption to ship carrying the metal into the country with the Centre "foregoing revenue" on what is a sovereign asset. But there was no exemption from GST that is levied on imports, as it is shared with other states. 

A special aircraft was used to fly the gigantic quantity of metal to the country with detailed security arrangements. The gold is currently held in vaults in RBI's old office building on Mint Road in Mumbai and in Nagpur.  

Storehouse of Gold

For several countries and their central banks, the Bank of England has been the storehouse of Gold, with some of the yellow metal stocks lying in London from the pre-Independence period. As per an official statement, RBI started purchasing gold a few years back and decided to undertake a review of the same regarding its storage. Since the stock was building overseas, it was decided to get some of the gold to India from time to time. 


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