Sunday, April 21, 2013

Gold still dear in post offices

Dear Comrades,

TRICHY: The gold prices might have fallen to a new low in the recent past, but with Indian Post, which sells gold coins in collaboration with Reliance Money Infrastructure Limited, it is still dearer and sells it at the rate of Rs 31,946 for 10g of 24-carat gold after tax. India Post advertised a special discount of 7% on account of "PushyaNakshatra" on Friday and even after discount, it still cost Rs 29,710 which is Rs 3,625 more than the market rate. Hence, there were no takers for the gold coins at the post offices, except for a few.

Assistant postmaster general of Trichy Region A Thomas Lourduraj told TOI, "This system (of selling gold through the post office outlets) only helps the Reliance Money, which need not invest in infrastructure and manpower." The Trichy region has jurisdiction over 24 head post offices and 647 sub post offices spread over Cuddalore, Karur, Kumbakonam, Mayiladuthurai, Nagapattinam, Pattukkottai, Pudukkottai, Sri Rangam, Thanjavur, Trichy and Vriddhachalam. The India Post in the region sold a total of 24.7kg gold (in the denominations of 0.5g to a maximum weight of 50g) worth Rs 8.25 crore in the last fiscal ending March 31 and earned a commission of Rs 37 lakh, said Lourduraj.

Though India Post has stacked up a large collection of gold coins, there are not much takers for it. The reason is the wide variation in the price between them and the private players. Asked why it cost Rs 5,861 more for 10g of 24-carat, Lourduraj claimed that their gold was tamper proof. Interestingly, the Indian Overseas Bank sold the same 10g of 24-carat for Rs 28,519 even though gold prices rebounded on Friday by gaining some Rs 400 in the afternoon.

Curiously, there was no stock of gold coins at any of the leading retailers in the city. A sales supervisor at one of the jewellery shops told TOI, "Even if we have 50kg of coins, we would have sold them out today (Friday) itself." He said that one could book for the coins at the prevailing rate and they would supply after a fortnight. Another jewellery outlet said that there was no stock of any denominations even for those who would make it a point to bring some gold home on the day of Pushya Nakshatra. A large number of people who were more inclined in investing in the coins as the prices plummeted went back empty-handed.

Times of India
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