The issue date of the first tranche of Sovereign Gold Bond scheme has been extended by four days to November 30 to enable their proper processing, the government announced on Wednesday.
A finance ministry statement said a large number of applications has been received by banks and post offices, and "to enable smooth uploading of applications into RBI's E-kuber system, particularly by the post offices, it has since been decided to shift the issue date of the Sovereign Gold Bonds from November 26, 2015 to November 30, 2015".
Subscription for the sovereign gold bonds, announced by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the 2015-16 budget as a financial asset serving as an alternative to the precious metal, was open from November 5 to 20.
The finance ministry announced last month that the bonds, issued by the Reserve Bank of India on its behalf, would be sold through banks and notified post offices.
The scheme, so far, has generated lukewarm response, with bankers pegging the overall collections at Rs.150 crore. This, according to banks, is owing to a higher issue price, which the RBI had set at Rs.2,684 per gram, while the ruling market price was lower.
The gold bonds are denominated in multiples of gram(s) of gold with a basic unit of one gram while the minimum investment limit is two grams and the maximum subscription is 500 grams per person per fiscal. For joint holders, the limit will be applied on the first holder.
As per the scheme, the gold bonds will be sold only to resident Indian entities including individuals, Hindu undivided families, trusts, universities, and charitable institutions.
The issue and redemption price are in Indian rupees fixed on the basis of the previous week's (Monday-Friday) simple average of closing price of gold of 999 purity published by the India Bullion and Jewellers Association Ltd.
The bond tenure will be eight years with exit option beginning the fifth year onwards. The bonds will also be tradable in the bourses.
The rate of interest will be 2.75 percent per annum payable semi-annually on the initial value of investment.
Bonds can be used as collateral for loans. The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is to be set equal to ordinary gold loan mandated by the RBI from time to time.
As to the tax treatment, interest on gold bonds will be taxable as per the provision of Income Tax Act, 1961 and the capital gains tax shall also remain same as in the case of physical gold.