- SOVEREIGN GOLD BOND SCHEME
- PILGRIMAGE REJUVENATION AND SPIRITUAL, HERITAGE AUGMENTAION DRIVE (PRASHAD)
- COOPERATION AND MUTUAL ASSISTANCE IN CUSTOMS: INDIA-SPAIN
SOVEREIGN GOLD BOND SCHEME
Focus: GS III- Indian Economy
Why in News?
The Government of India in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India has decided to allow discount of Rs 50 (Rupees Fifty only) per gram from the issue price to those investors who apply online and the payment is made through digital mode. For such investors the issue price of Gold Bond will be Rs 4,736 (Rupees Four thousand seven hundred thirty six only) per gram of gold.
About Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme (SGB)
- The Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme was introduced in the Union Budget 2015-16.
- It was launched to reduce the demand for physical gold and with an aim to invest a part of these physicals gold bars and coins that are purchased every year into financial savings in the form of gold bonds.
- Investors have to pay the issue price in cash and the bonds will be redeemed in cash on maturity.
- The Bond is issued by Reserve Bank on behalf of Government of India.
- Government introduced these bonds to help reduce India’s over dependence on gold imports.
- The move was also aimed at changing the habits of Indians from saving in physical form of gold to a paper form with Sovereign backing.
- The bonds will be restricted for sale to resident Indian entities, including individuals, Hindu Undivided Family (HUFs), trusts, universities and charitable institutions.
- The bonds will be denominated in multiples of gram(s) of gold with a basic unit of 1 gram.
- The tenor will be for a period of 8 years with exit option from the 5th year to be exercised on the interest payment dates.
- The minimum permissible investment limit will be 1 gram of gold, while the maximum limit will be 4 kg for individual, 4 kg for HUF and 20 kg for trusts and similar entities per fiscal (April-March) notified by the government from time to time.
- In case of joint holding, the investment limit of 4 kg will be applied to the first applicant only.
- Bonds can be used as collateral for loans.
- The loan-to-value (LTV) ratio is to be set equal to ordinary gold loan mandated by the Reserve Bank from time to time.
Benefits of Sovereign Gold Bond
- As a low-risk investment, it is perfect for investors with low-risk appetite.
- Compared to physical gold, the cost to purchase or sell SGBs is quite low.
- The expense of buying or selling the SGB is also nominal in comparison to the physical gold.
- The gold bonds can be availed either in paper or in demat form as per the convenience of an individual.
- The gold bonds invested by the Investors can be gifted or transferred to others who are eligible under the scheme.
- They can also trade these bonds on stock exchanges subject to notifications of the Reserve Bank of India.
- These Gold bonds can be purchased through multiple payment modes such as cheques, cash, DDs or electronic transfer.
PILGRIMAGE REJUVENATION AND SPIRITUAL, HERITAGE AUGMENTAION DRIVE (PRASHAD)
Focus: GS I- Indian culture.
Why in News?
Union Tourism Minister virtually inaugurates PRASHAD projects at Govardhan, Mathura, Uttar Pradesh
About PRASAD SCHEME
- The ‘National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive’ (PRASAD) was launched by the Ministry of Tourism in the year 2014-15 with the objective of holistic development of identified pilgrimage destinations.
- The name of the scheme was changed from PRASAD to “National Mission on Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual, Heritage Augmentation Drive (PRASHAD)” in October 2017.
- After the discontinuation of the HRIDAY scheme of the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, the development of Heritage destinations was included in the PRASAD Scheme, changing it to PRASHAD.
- Pilgrimage Rejuvenation and Spiritual Augmentation Drive (PRASAD) is a Central Sector Scheme that focuses on identifying and developing the pilgrim sites across the country to enrich the religious tourism experience. It was launched by the Ministry of Tourism.
- The Ministry of Tourism provides Central Financial Assistance (CFA) to State Governments for promoting tourism at identified destinations. For components within public funding under this scheme, Central Government will provide 100% fund.
- For improved sustainability of project, it also seeks to involve Public Private Partnership (PPP) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) as well.
Objectives of PRASHAD Scheme
- It wants to Harness pilgrimage tourism for its direct and multiplier effect upon employment generation and economic development.
- It Enhances tourist attractiveness in sustainable manner by developing world class infrastructure in the religious destinations.
- It also seeks to promote local art, culture, handicraft, cuisine, etc.
- It Strengthen the mechanism for bridging the infrastructural gaps.
- It follow community based development and create awareness among the local communities.
Below are the 12 cities initial chosen under PRASHAD Scheme
- Kamakhya (Assam),
- Amaravati (Andhra Pradesh)
- Dwaraka (Gujarat),
- Gaya (Bihar),
- Amritsar (Punjab),
- Ajmer (Rajasthan),
- Puri (Odisha),
- Kedarnath (Uttarakhand)
- Kanchipuram(Tamil Nadu)
- Velankanni (Tamil Nadu),
- Varanasi (Uttar Pradesh),
- Mathura (Uttar Pradesh).
COOPERATION AND MUTUAL ASSISTANCE IN CUSTOMS: INDIA-SPAIN
Focus: GS II- International Relations
Why in News?
The Union Cabinet has approved an Agreement between India and Spain on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance in Customs Matters.
- It is a legal framework and helps sharing of information between the Customs authorities of the two countries.
- It will help in making available, reliable, quick and cost-effective information and intelligence for the prevention and investigation of Customs offences and apprehending of Customs offenders.
- It helps in the proper administration of Customs laws and detection and investigation of Customs offences and the facilitation of legitimate trade
- Customs offence concerning illicit movement of the following:
- Arms, ammunition, explosives and explosive devices.
- Works of art and antiques, which are of significant historical, cultural or archaeological value.
- Toxic materials and other substances dangerous to the environment and public health.
- Goods subject to substantial customs duties or taxes.
- New means and methods employed for committing Customs offences against Customs legislation.