The Narendra Modi government's plans to raise a whopping Rs 15,000 crore from the sovereign gold bond scheme in the current fiscal year may be "difficult" to achieve.
On Monday, the government launched the second tranche of sovereign gold bonds and the issue will open for sale till 22 January.
"Raising Rs 15,000 crore from the gold bond scheme by March-end seems to be a difficult target," Press Trust of India quoted official sources as saying.
As per its borrowing programme, the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) has to raise Rs 15,000 crore through gold bonds in the second half of 2015-16.
The government was able to raise Rs 246 crore from the first tranche of the gold bond scheme, which ended on 30 November.
The gold bond scheme, aimed at reducing the physical demand for the metal, was the first of its kind launched by the Modi government on 5 November.
The RBI has fixed the priced at Rs 2,600 per gram for the current issue, compared to Rs 2,684 per gram for the first tranche.
Investors will be paid a fixed rate of interest of 2.75% per annum on their initial investment. The interest will be paid half-yearly and bonds can be furnished as collaterals to obtain loans.
The bonds will be available in both demat and physical forms. The maturity period for the bonds will be eight years, with the option to exit from the fifth year.
The scheme is aimed at reducing the physical demand for the yellow metal in the country. India imports about 800-1,000 tonnes of gold annually, and is the world's second-largest consumer of the yellow metal after China.
Last year, the government had launched two other gold schemes â€” India gold coin and Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS).
GMS was aimed at mopping up gold worth nearly Rs 60 lakh crore from households and institutions in the country. Customers depositing gold with banks will get tax-free interest.