State Bank of India started an exclusive gold banking unit at its city branch at Cantonment on Thursday. Called ‘Pon Illam', the gold banking unit will offer retail and bulk sale of gold. Apart from the retail sale of gold weighing between 2 gram and 100 gram, the ‘Pon Illam' will sell gold bars to jewellers and members of the public. The minimum quantum of purchase should be one kg of gold bar. The unit also will implement a gold deposit scheme under which a minimum of 500 gram should be deposited with it. The bank offers a nominal interest for a term ranging from three to five years. There is no ceiling for the deposit.
V.Madhusudhana Rao, General Manager, (Marketing and Cross Selling), SBI, Corporate Centre, Mumbai, inaugurated the ‘Pon Illam'. He said that the ‘Pon Illam' will extend metal gold loan, in the form of gold bar, to domestic dealers for making and selling jewellery in the market. The maximum period of loan is 180 days with attractive interest ranging from 5 to 7 per cent.
Speaking on the occasion, B.S.R. Prasad, General Manager (Networking 2), SBI, Local Head Office, Chennai, said that protecting gold jewellery would be a challenging task for both individuals and institutions. The gold deposit scheme would benefit them, particularly temples where devotees offered gold. Apart from ensuring safety for the gold, the individuals and institutions would also gain interest which is exempt from income tax. The value of gold was also exempt from wealth tax. The appreciation in value of gold is also exempt from capital gains tax, he said.
Diljit C.Shah, Managing Director, M/s N. Gopaldas Gems and Jewellery Exports and Mothi Dhandayutham, president of Tiruchi jewellers association, who spoke, said the ‘Pon Illam' would promote gold business not only in Tiruchi but in the whole of central districts. P.Karthikeyan, Regional Manager, Region – I, Tiruchi spoke on the services of ‘Pon Illam'.