India Set to Launch Gold Policy Centre

Gold’s influence on Indian markets could be set to rise, following the announcement of a new facility focused on researching the precious metal.

The World Gold Council (WGC) and the Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIMA) recently joined forces to launch the India Gold Policy Centre, which will explore all facets of the asset’s economic impact.

Buying and selling gold is a core Indian tradition, with the yellow metal the nation’s second biggest import after oil. The commodity is commonly purchased as a gift or bought for auspicious reasons at Hindu festivals.

However, the new policy centre suggests gold could play an even more central role in the country’s economy, leading to increased bullion investment.

According to the WGC, the aim of the facility is to explore how India’s significant stockpiles of gold can be used to advance employment, economic growth, social inclusion and wealth.

The centre wishes to carry out research that can be applied practically, helping the precious metals industry and other stakeholders develop a more efficient gold framework.

Indian gold worth $1 trillion

Last year, India introduced a number of import restrictions that prevented overseas gold from being brought into the country. This is an attempt to lower the nation’s current account deficit.

Gold’s appeal has led to a rise in smuggling, however, and the WGC estimated that the country’s stockpiles are now worth US$1 trillion.

Somasundaram PR, managing director of WGC India, said there is approximately 22,000 tonnes of gold across the country.

“This historic asset can be used to enhance the nation’s prosperity by putting it to work for the economy, creating jobs, developing skills, generating exports and revenues,” he explained.

“To develop gold’s potential, we need to understand gold’s role in the Indian economy, through high-quality data, insights and research.”

He added that IIMA was enlisted to help with the launch of the gold policy centre because it is crucial that a well-respected academic institution was involved in the project.

The IIMA has been voted India’s best management school for several consecutive years, with The Economist ranking it in the top 100 international business schools that offer MBAs.

Global benefits

While the facility will mainly focus on Indian gold policy, the WGC acknowledged that the research and results will provide insight into how the commodity benefits societies and economies worldwide.

This could have a significant impact on foreign gold markets, including in Australia, which is already an ideal location to supply and store precious metals in the region.

The facility will operate independently and was financed through a WGC grant. Its doors will open in December 2014.

Professor Ashish Nanda, director of the IIMA, thanked the council for its help and support, adding that the centre will be an excellent source of information for the gold industry both in India and worldwide.

“In line with our vision to contribute and reach out to industry, the Gold Centre will provide innovative solutions and insights for the gold industry through cutting-edge research,” he stated.

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