New Delhi: The gold bond and gold monetisation schemes of the central government will be launched next month. Though tax revenue will fall by at least Rs 50,000 crore this year, economic growth will be more than 7.5 per cent, said Union Finance Secretary Ratan Watal.
Two schemes were announced in the last budget. In one scheme, gold can be deposited in banks for a maximum period of 15 years and interest can be earned. Redemption at the end of tenure will be at the prevailing rate. In the second one, gold bonds will be issued in denominations of 5 grams, 10 grams, 50 grams and 100 grams. In the current year, the government expects to raise Rs 15,000 crore through gold bonds.
Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das said talks with the Reserve Bank of India on gold schemes had been completed. Gold coins with Ashoka Chakra symbol will be issued soon. The main aim of the gold schemes is to reduce gold imports as much as possible. India imports about 1,000 tonnes of gold a year. Higher imports increase current account deficit.
It was stated in the budget that Rs 14,50,000 crore will be collected as tax revenue. However, Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia said tax collection would fall short of target by 5-7 per cent, but it would reach at least Rs 14,00,000 crore.
The finance secretary said, despite global economic slowdown and slump in exports, India had become the fastest growing major economy. Inflation has been brought under control, and, even when monsoon is unpredictable, price rise of food items can be reined in using price stabilisation fund and imports. Also, fiscal and revenue deficits have been reduced.
Tax distribution to states has increased by 10 per cent, and plan expenditure has surged by 30 per cent. The finance secretary hinted that steps would be taken to further improve the execution of centrally planned projects and revise the interest rates on small savings. He explained that small savings schemes would be revised without affecting the benefits given to senior citizens and the girl child.
Linking the price of petrol and diesel to the market and giving direct subsidy to cooking gas consumers has yielded benefits. Price control of kerosene is causing problems even now, the finance secretary said.
Rs 4,147 crore black money revealed; government to get Rs 2,488 crore
Union revenue secretary Hasmukh Adhia said that the scheme announced by the government to reveal black money had brought out Rs 4,147 crore in total. It was initially said that, when the 90-day window to declare black money closed, details of Rs 3,770 crore were revealed. The new amount has been announced after detailed inspection of documents that have been revealed. There is no change in the number of declarations at 638. Those who have revealed assets must pay 30 per cent tax and 30 per cent fine. The government should get Rs 2,488.20 crore on this account.