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Sixth Tranche of Sovereign Gold Bonds to Launch on 24 October 

Sovereign Gold Bonds

The government of India has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds 2016-17 – Series III, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India (RBI). Citizens can apply for the bonds from October 24, 2016, to November 02, 2016. The issue of bonds will be held on 17 November 2016.

The bonds will be sold through Stock Holdings Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), Banks, Recognized stock exchanges, Designated post offices, Bombay Stock Exchange and National Stock Exchange of India.

The Sovereign Gold Bonds scheme, launched in November last year, provides an alternative mode of investment to physical gold. It gives investors a choice to expand their portfolios without buying the metal in physical form.

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The government has released five tranches of the Sovereign Gold Bonds so far with more than 2 lakh applications for the fifth installment.

“Government of India, in consultation with the Reserve Bank, has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds 2016-17 – Series III. Applications for the Bonds will be accepted from October 24, 2016, to November 02, 2016,” the Finance Ministry said, adding that Sovereign Gold Bonds will be issued on November 17. “The (SGB) investors will be compensated at a fixed rate of 2.50 per cent per annum payable semi-annually on the nominal value of the investment,” he added.

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The Reserve Bank of India announced the issue of five tranches of Sovereign Gold Bonds till date worth Rs. 3,060 crore. Payment for the bonds will be through electronic banking or cheque or demand draft or cash payment (up to a maximum of Rs. 20,000.)

The highest amount of subscription by an entity will not be more than 500 grams per person per fiscal year. A self-declaration will be obtained for joint holding, and the investment limit of 500 grams will be applied to the first applicant only.

EPF Scheme to Introduce Pledging PF Plan to Buy Low Cost Homes

EPFO

Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO) is planning to introduce a new scheme.  Through this upcoming EPFO Scheme, which will allow its subscribers to pledge the provident fund amount to buy low-cost homes, and they can use this account to pay EMIs (Equated Monthly Instalments)

“We are working on a housing scheme for members of the Employees’ Provident Fund Organisation (EPFO). Under it, members will be allowed to pledge their PF accumulations to buy homes,” mentioned Labour Secretary Shankar Aggarwal.

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This scheme was under the proposal from a long time, which will be put forward before the meeting of Central Board of Trustees expected to be held next month.  Once if the proposal is approved, then the scheme will be available to 4 crore subscribers.

“We don’t want to impose anything on the subscribers. Therefore, we will not buy land or build houses for them. They will be free to choose their homes from the open market,” labour secretary added.

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According to the panels’ suggestions, this scheme will be available to low-income formal workers who are EPFO subscribers who cannot afford to buy a house during their service period.

Under this scheme, there will be a tripartite agreement between, member, House agency or bank and EPFO.

The same scheme was listed on the agenda of the Central Board of Trustees meeting held on September 15 last year. A report from the expert committee related to the housing facility for the subscribers was also presented at the meeting.

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The committee has consistently recommended a scheme to facilitate subscribers to buy low-cost homes. It suggests that the benefits under this scheme of Ministry of Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation could be extended to the customers.

Labour Minister Dattatreya had told Lok Sabha in a written reply saying “Government is exploring the possibility of providing a suitable low-cost housing scheme for subscribers of Employees’ Pension Fund. It is in the preliminary discussion stage.”