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[op-ed snap] A local approach to climate change

Note4students

Mains Paper 1: Geography | changes in critical geographical features (including waterbodies & ice-caps) & in flora & fauna & the effects of such changes

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, IPCC

Mains level: Threats posed by climate change and what can be done to reduce these threats


Context

Recent IPCC report on climate change

  1. In the Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change has reported that the world could hit the 1.5°C mark as early as 2030, with any further rise having far-reaching consequences
  2. The consequences of climate change—ranging from a rise in mean temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns to a rise in drought frequency, flood hazards and coastal risk—will hit the global south particularly hard
  3. Another recent study in Nature Climate Change quantified the domestic social costs of carbon emissions. At approximately $90/tonne, the cost to India is the highest in the world

Role of local governments

  1. The UN report notes that the different pathways to limiting global warming to 1.5°C would require rapid and far-reaching transitions in energy, land, urban and infrastructure (including transport and buildings), and industrial systems
  2. Much of that falls in the domain of state or urban policy
  3. National goals and policies are necessary, but the stark difference in pollution levels between industrialized states and forested states, for instance, demands a complementary localized approach
  4. Cities contribute a disproportionate share of greenhouse gas emissions
  5. Especially in India, they are also the most susceptible to climate change consequences, given that large segments of the urban population are concentrated along coastlines, rivers and floodplains

Other factors 

  1. The main culprits when it comes to emissions are the power and transport sectors
  2. Looking at the transport sector through the prisms of land-use planning and transit-oriented development would be useful here
  3. The water and sanitation sectors are other pressure points, responsible for vast amounts of methane emissions
  4. Methane has been observed to be 25 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas but is still dismissed as a temporary pollutant

Gaps in city planning

  1. Shoddy planning, tardy implementation and a paucity of qualified town planners have created cities with no mixed-use planning, lengthy daily commutes, energy-inefficient buildings, and unsustainable mobility and spatial development plans
  2. An increase in the stock of municipal corporation personnel specializing in environmental engineering, disaster management etc and their integration into policy-making and administrative processes is essential

Gaps in fiscal and administrative devolution

  1. Empowered city mayors and local councils around the world are playing influential roles in combating climate change
  2. Beijing and London are prime examples
  3. A number of US cities and states pledged to remain committed to the accord following Trump’s decision of pulling the country out of the Paris Accord

Way Forward

  1. Climate change is the tragedy of the commons
  2. This is particularly so in emerging economies like India where development imperatives can be overwhelming
  3. In the face of developed economies’ reluctance to respect it, the sort of intensive efforts outlined in the UN report will be difficult to pull off
  4. New Delhi is doing well to try and find the right mix for sustainable growth
Climate Change Impact on India and World – International Reports, Key Observations, etc.

[op-ed snap] Raja Mandala: Recalling an older power play

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: IR | Effect of policies & politics of developed & developing countries on India’s interests, Indian diaspora

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Iran’s expansive policies in the middle east and its impact on the geopolitics of the area


Context

The problem with Iran

  1. If Iran were a normal state operating on the basis of national interest, it should be possible to resolve differences through give and take
  2. But if a revolutionary Iran exports ideology and destabilises its neighbours, others have no option but to push back, balance or contain
  3. For most Arab regimes revolution in Iran brought by Ayatollah Khomeini during 1978-79 posed an existential threat to their legitimacy and survival
  4. Like Bolshevik Russia and Maoist China, Khomeini’s Iran framed its international objectives in expansive terms
  5. It declared the intent to overthrow the extant regional order in the Middle East
  6. It claimed to “out-Arab” the Arabs in confronting imperialism, Zionism and backing the Palestinian cause

Turn of events in the Middle East

  1. Iran’s radical Islamism threatened the conservative Islamic regimes of the Arabian Peninsula
  2. The Iranian revolution was seen as overturning the status quo and the Arabs wasted no time in pushing back
  3. They turned to Saddam Hussein, the strongman of Iraq and Iran’s neighbour in the Gulf
  4. Saddam, hired as the “Arab Gendarme” against the “Islamist hordes” of Iran, did engage in a prolonged war with Tehran through the 1980s that bled both the nations into a draw
  5. But Saddam tried to recoup his losses by turning a predator
  6. After he annexed Kuwait in 1990, the Gulf regimes looked to the US for redress
  7. The US mounted a massive military operation to liberate Kuwait and put it back on the map in early 1991
  8. It had some serious unintended consequences

What US intervention led to?

  1. Osama bin Ladin, who worked with the Americans and the Saudis in promoting jihad in Afghanistan against the Soviet occupation in the 1980s, turned against them
  2. Bin Ladin set up the al Qaeda to confront both America and the Arabian rulers friendly to it
  3. A decade later, al Qaeda attacked New York and Washington, on 9/11, which in turn brought Americans into Afghanistan
  4. Rather than consolidating Afghanistan, Washington invaded Iraq in 2003 to overthrow Saddam Hussein
  5. In the new Iraq, liberated from Saddam’s secular autocracy, Tehran gained huge influence, especially among the now empowered Shia majority
  6. Arabia, long ruled by Sunni regimes, now confronted the first Shia-dominated Arab state — Iraq
  7. The need to counter Iran’s “Shi’ite geopolitics” became a pressing preoccupation for the Arabs since the middle of the last decade

Changes in last decade

  1. The Iran problem became even more challenging for Arabia, as the Arab Spring of 2011-12 unleashed new threats to the region’s stability
  2. They were frightened by the resurgence of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and the important support it won from Turkey and Qatar
  3. On top of all this, came the rise of the extreme Sunni force, the Islamic State
  4. The Obama administration concluded an agreement with Iran on limiting its nuclear programme
  5. While Washington proclaimed it as a “non-proliferation” agreement, for Arabs it was about ending Iran’s international isolation, boosting Iran’s economy by lifting sanctions, and tilting the balance ever more in favour of Iran

Focus shifting from the US

  1. Having seen America turn wild, the Gulf Arabs can no longer afford to put all their eggs in the American basket
  2. While they hold on to the US, they are inviting other powers like France and Britain back into the Gulf
  3. They are also boosting national military capabilities
  4. The Gulf Arabs deeply dislike what they see as the “pro-Iranian” policies of Russia and China in the Middle East

Way forward for India

  1. India simply confounds the Arabs
  2. They are surprised by Delhi’s strange duality in the Gulf
  3. There is apolitical mercantilism when it comes to the Arabs and delusions of grand strategy in dealing with Iran
Foreign Policy Watch: India-Middle East

[op-ed snap] Power politics at play

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Infrastructure: Energy, Ports, Roads, Airports, Railways etc.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Not much

Mains level: Proposed amendments in electricity act and their implications


Context

Changes in electricity act

  1. The Central government has proposed a set of changes to the Electricity Act 2003
  2. The amendments seek to enable a market transformation in electricity
  3. The idea is that while a single public utility will run the wires through which electricity flows, multiple supply licensees (both public and private) will be allowed to compete for consumers
  4. The intent is that the discipline of competing for customers will lead to improved supply and lower bills

Proposed amendments

  1. The amendment (along with changes in the National Tariff Policy) aims to get the price right — a long-standing aspiration — by capping cross-subsidies at 20% immediately and eliminating them within three years
  2. The cross-subsidy surcharge on open access customers — the fee that holds back customers from leaving the grid — would be eliminated within two years
  3. Subsidies will not be allowed across consumer categories like industry and agriculture, but will be allowed across consumption categories — big consumers can subsidise small ones
  4. The amendments include many other provisions, notably around making the Act more up to date with regard to renewable energy, which is a worthy objective

Effects of the proposals

  1. The discipline of competing for customers will lead to improved supply and lower bills
  2. India could have an electricity distribution sector with pockets of competition for wealthy consumers in a sea of monopoly inhabited by the poorest
  3. Private suppliers could cherry-pick profitable locations and consumers; the state-owned incumbent supplier will be left with the obligation to serve low-paying consumers
  4. This shift could be highly disruptive if the profit-making side is allowed to flee, without devising a transition pathway for the loss-making side of electricity

Onus on states

  1. While an earlier 2014 reform effort proposed mandatory and time-bound implementation of these reforms and therefore was resisted by States, the current amendment allows them discretion on the timing of implementation
  2. The combination of time discretion and the improved presence of the ruling coalition in State governments may facilitate passage this time around

Increased power to centre

  1. The Centre may have access to enhanced tax revenues from electricity because it stands to gain from additional tax revenue from profitable new wires companies and private suppliers
  2. The Centre could become a new fulcrum of redistribution from wealthy areas in wealthy States, to needy customers that are concentrated in a few States
  3. It provides greater control to the Centre and limits the States’ and regional political parties’ capability to make electoral use of electricity pricing
  4. The amendment proposes a re-formulation of the selection committee for State regulators, from a majority of State representatives to a majority of Central representatives
  5. The Centre will also gain more oversight on capacity addition, through the requirement of a detailed project report submission to the Central Electricity Authority

Challenge of low demand

  1. Many generating companies have been in the news recently due to decreasing demand for their power and consequently their stranded assets
  2. The amendments potentially provide comfort to them at the expense of distribution companies
  3. They mandate that suppliers sign power purchase agreements (PPAs) to meet the annual average demand, ostensibly to ensure 24×7 power for all, which will be subject to review and compliance measures
  4. The gain to generators could come at the cost of customers, who, through the PPAs signed by supply companies, have to ultimately bear the risk of uncertain load growth, prices and migration

Way forward

  1. India’s electricity sector remains beset with problems
  2. Disruptive change in Indian electricity may be needed, even inevitable
  3. But the amendments risk placing the cost of disruption on the backs of the poorest and shifts the potential for ameliorative measures to the hands of the Centre, rather than the States
Policy Wise: India’s Power Sector

CII and UNEP sign MoU for implementation of sustainable development

Note4students

Mains Paper 2: IR | Bilateral, regional and global groupings and agreements involving India and/or affecting India’s interests

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: CII, UNEP, #Un-plastic Initiative

Mains level: Sustainable Development


News

Context

  • The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the UN Environment has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development.

Highlights of the MoU

  1. The CII will work towards voluntary codes in Indian industry on the issue of plastics, for which there is already a precedent with benefits to firms in terms of credit and shareholder value.
  2. The MoU encompasses ‘coherent implementation of the environmental dimension of sustainable development according to an official statement.
  3. It provides a framework of cooperation and facilitates cooperation in issues of environment, climate change, renewable energy, energy efficiency, resource conservation and management, water sanitation, smart cities and urban infrastructure.
  4. A major activity planned under the MoU, will be the #Un-plastic Initiative of CII and UN Environment, beginning with a Call to Action, including commitments by industry on actions to curb plastic pollution.

Back2Basics

Confederation of Indian Industry (CII)

  1. CII is a non-government, not-for-profit, industry-led and industry-managed organization.
  2. Founded in 1895, it has over 9,000 members, from the private as well as public sectors, including SMEs and MNCs, and an indirect membership of over 300,000 enterprises from around 265 national and regional sectoral industry bodies.
  3. CII works with the Government on policy issues. It played a very important role during economic liberalisation in 1991 which knocked down the high walls of protection between Indian industry and the rest of the world.
  4. CII serves as a reference point for Indian industry and the international business community.
  5. It has 65 offices, including 9 Centres of Excellence, in India, and 11 overseas offices in Australia, Bahrain, China, Egypt, France, Germany, Iran, Singapore, South Africa, United Kingdom and United States.
Industrial Sector Updates – Industrial Policy, Ease of Doing Business, etc.

SC tags Tripura NRC plea with Assam case

Note4students

Mains Paper 1: Social Issues | Population & associated issues

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: National Register of Citizens (NRC), Citizenship Act, 1955

Mains level: Updation of NRC and its implications on demography as well as security situation.


News

Update NRC for Tripura: SC

  1. The Supreme Court has issued notice to the government to update the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Tripura, as is being done in Assam, in order to detect and deport the “illegal immigrants” from Bangladesh.
  2. The PIL asked the Court to direct authorities to update the NRC with respect to Tripura in terms of Rules 3 and 4 of The Citizenship (Registration of Citizens and Issue of National Identity Cards) Rules, 2003 by taking July 19, 1948 as the cut-off date as provided for in Article 6 of the Constitution.

Bangladeshi Influx: An external aggression

  1. The petition contended the “influx” of illegal immigrants into Tripura amounted to ‘external aggression’ under Article 355 of the Constitution.
  2. The presence of illegal immigrants violates the political rights of the citizens of Tripura said the PIL.

Tripura facing demographic changes

  1. Uncontrolled influx of illegal migrants from Bangladesh to Tripura has caused huge demographic changes in Tripura.
  2. Tripura was a predominantly tribal State, but now it has become a non-tribal State.
  3. Indigenous people who were once the majority has now become a minority in their own land claimed the PIL.
Citizenship and Related Issues

NASA probe to fly by most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft

Click to see the enlarged image

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Science & Technology | Awareness in the fields of IT, Space, Computers, robotics, nano-technology, bio-technology

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: New Horizon Probe, Kupier Belt

Mains level: NASA missions and their objectives


News

Setting a New Record

  1. NASA’s New Horizons probe is on course to fly by the Kuiper Belt object nicknamed Ultima Thule, which is at a distance of 6.6 billion kilometers from Earth.
  2. This event will set the record for the most distant object ever visited by a spacecraft.
  3. The spacecraft has successfully performed the three and half-minute manoeuvre on October 3 to home in on its location.
  4. The manoeuvre slightly tweaked the spacecraft’s trajectory and bumped its speed by 2.1 metres per second keeping it on track to fly past Ultima officially named 2014 MU69 on January 1, 2019.
  5. This manoeuvre has led the farthest exploration in world more than a billion miles beyond Pluto.

Trajectory Correction Maneuver

  1. New Horizons itself was about 6.35 billion km from earth when it carried out trajectory correction maneuver (TCM), the farthest course-correction ever performed.
  2. This was the first Ultima targeting maneuver that used pictures taken by New Horizons itself to determine the spacecraft’s position relative to the Kuiper Belt object.
  3. The TCM is done by determining the current trajectories and its target, and then calculating the manoeuvering required to put the spacecraft at the desired aim point for the flyby 3,500 km from Ultima at closest approach.

Confirming the right trajectory

  1. The optical navigation images gathered by New Horizons’ Long Range Reconnaissance Imager (LORRI) provide direct information of Ultima’s position relative to New Horizons.
  2. This has helped the team determine where the spacecraft is headed.
  3. The recent navigation images have helped confirm that Ultima is within about 500 km of its expected position, which is exceptionally good.
  4. The spacecraft is just 112 million kilometres from Ultima, closing in at 51,911 km/h.
  5. The team will eventually have to guide the spacecraft into an approximately 120 by 320-kilometre “box” and predict the flyby to within 140 seconds.

Back2Basics

New Horizon Probe

  1. New Horizons is an interplanetary space probe that was launched as a part of NASA’s New Frontiers program on January 19, 2006.
  2. The primary mission is to perform a flyby study of the Pluto system. The secondary mission to fly by and study one or more other Kuiper belt objects (KBOs).
  3. After completing flyby mission of Pluto, New Horizons has maneuvered for a flyby of KBO 2014 MU69. It expected to take place on January 1, 2019.

Kuiper Belt

  1. Kuiper belt is a region of the solar system beyond the planets, extending from the orbit of Neptune. It consist mainly small bodies or remnants from the solar system’s formation.
  2. It is similar to the asteroid belt, although it is far larger 20 times as wide and 200 times as massive.
  3. The Kuiper belt objects (KBO) are composed largely of frozen volatiles (termed ‘ices’), such as methane, ammonia and water.
  4. Kuiper belt is home to at least three dwarf planets Pluto, Haumea and Makemake.
  5. Pluto, discovered in 1930, is considered its largest member.
International Space Agencies – Missions and Discoveries

Crop damages in animal attacks put under PMFBY on pilot basis

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Agriculture | Issues related to direct & indirect farm subsidies & minimum support prices etc.

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana

Mains level: Ensuring better implementation of PMFBY through additional provisions.


News

Context

  • The Union government has decided to cover damages to crops in wild animal attacks under the Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojna in select districts on an experimental basis.

New Provisions to the PMFBY

  1. Several parliamentarians have been raising this issue from time to time and demanding insurance cover for damages to the crops in animal attacks under the Centre’s scheme.
  2. The government has also brought under the PMFBY ambit certain horticultural crops on an experimental basis, the minister said.
  3. Damages to individual or limited number of cultivators in localised events like water logging, land slide, hailstorms etc did not fall under the ambit of PMFBY scheme earlier.
  4. However they too are being covered now under new provisions.
  5. Now damages to the individual fields due to incidents of local disasters like cloud bursts and fire too are being taken up now for insurance claims.

Easing Insurance Claims settlements

  1. The amended provisions for the scheme also stipulate fines in cases of delay in clearing the insurance claims for crop damages.
  2. In case a firm now delays the clearances beyond two months, it will have to pay an annual interest of 12 per cent.
  3. Similarly the state government too will have to pay an interest of 12 per cent in case of delay in release of state’s share of subsidy in premium to insurance firms.
  4. The insurances firms will also have to spend 0.5 per cent of their earnings from annual premium to advertise the provisions of the PMFBY among the peasants.

Back2Basics

Pradhan Mantri Fasal BimaYojana (PMFBY)

Navigate to this page for detailed reading on PMFBY.

Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana – Min Premium, Max Insurance

Crop Insurance – PMFBY, etc.

Western Ghats is home to the Eurasian Otter

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Environment | Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: Otters in India and their habitat

Mains level: Conservation of the rarely spotted specie of otters in India.


News

Seen after 70 years

  1. Researchers have confirmed the presence of the elusive Eurasian Otter one of the least-known of India’s three Otter species in the Western Ghats after more than 70 years.
  2. Researchers came across the otter road-killed animal’s photographs, several small carnivore experts concluded it was neither the small-clawed nor the smooth-coated otter (the commonly sighted otter species in south India).
  3. Later, scientists affiliated Hyderabad’s Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology conducted genetic analyses of its tail tissue to confirm that it was indeed the Eurasian otter (Lutra lutra).

Rare in India

  1. Eurasian otter has been earliest recorded from the Western Ghats (Coorg in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu’s Nilgiri and Palani hill ranges, according to zoologist R.I. Pocock in 1941).
  2. This is the first photographic and genetic confirmation of its presence here.
  3. While the species is widespread across Europe, northern Africa and several south Asian countries, it is not as frequently seen as smooth-coated or small-clawed otters in India.

Detailed Surveys: Need of the Hour

  1. Though protected by the Wildlife Protection Act (1972), otters are often illegally poached for pelts.
  2. Similar physical features make it very difficult to identify otter species in the wild.
  3. It is still unclear whether significant number of Eurasian otters occurs in India.
  4. This paucity of information doesn’t help, with otters facing multiple threats.
  5. Otter road kills caused by increasing fragmentation of forests and modification of their original habitats are becoming increasingly common now.

Back2Basics

Otters in India

  1. IUCN Status: Near Threatened
  2. Species in India: Smooth-coated, Asian small-clawed and Eurasian Otters
  3. Habitat: Smooth-coated — all over India; Asian small-clawed — only in the Himalayan foothills, parts of the Eastern and southern Western Ghats; Eurasian — Western Ghats and Himalayas.
  4. Diet comprises several small animals, mainly crabs and small fishes.
  5. Lives in small packs, is mostly nocturnal, but can be diurnal in areas which are less disturbed.
Wildlife Conservation Efforts

[pib] ESIC wins ‘ISSA GOOD Practice Award, Asia & the Pacific 2018’

Note4students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: ISSA Good Practice Award, ISSA

Mains level: Not Much


News

Context

  • The Employees’ State Insurance Corporation (ESIC) has won the ‘ISSA Good Practice Award’ for Administrative Solution for Coverage Extension at the “Regional Social Security Forum for Asia and the Pacific” held at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia recently.

ISSA GOOD Practice Award

The award recognizes the measures taken by ESIC for:

  • extension of coverage-SPREE (Scheme for Promoting Registration of Employers and Employees),
  • reduced rate of contribution rates for 24 months in newly implemented areas and
  • raising the wage limit for coverage under the ESI Act, etc.

Regional Social Security Forum for Asia and the Pacific

  1. This is triennial Forum is the most important social security event in the Region.
  2. For this ISSA invites submissions for the ISSA Good Practices Award for Asia and the Pacific Regions.
  3. The Forum provides unique opportunities to CEOs and Managers of ISSA Member Institutions to discuss key social security challenges and share their experiences.

Back2Basics

International Social Security Association

  1. The ISSA is the principal international organization for Social Security Organizations, Govts. and Departments of Social Security.
  2. The ISSA was founded in 1927 under the auspices of the International Labour Organization (ILO), Geneva.
  3. It promotes excellence in social security administration through professional guidelines, expert knowledge, services and support to enable its Members to develop dynamic social security systems.
  4. The ESI Corporation hosts ISSA Liaison Office for South Asia at New Delhi.
  5. The Liasion Office coordinates with the Member countries and Social Security Institutions in Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Iran on activities of ISSA related to social security.

[pib] Sovereign Gold Bond Scheme 2018 -19

Note4students

Mains Paper 3: Economy | Mobilization of resources

The following things are important from UPSC perspective:

Prelims level: Read the tabular explanation of features of the Scheme. This increases scope for ample number of MCQs.

Mains level: Details of the Scheme


News

Sovereign Gold Bonds Scheme: 2018-19

  • Government of India, in consultation with the Reserve Bank of India, has decided to issue Sovereign Gold Bonds-2018-19.
  • The Bonds will be sold through banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices, and recognised stock exchanges viz., National Stock Exchange of India Limited and Bombay Stock Exchange Limited.

Features of the Gold Bond Scheme

Sl. No. Item Details
1 Product name  Sovereign Gold Bond 2018-19.
2 Issuance  Reserve Bank India on behalf of the Government of India.
3 Eligibility  Resident entities including individuals, HUFs, Trusts, Universities and Charitable Institutions.
4 Denomination  Multiples of gram(s) of gold with a basic unit of 1 gram.
5 Tenor  8 years with exit option in 5th, 6th year and 7th year to be exercised on the interest payment dates.
6 Minimum size  1 gram of gold
7 Maximum limit  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.
8 Joint holder In case of joint holding, the investment limit of 4 KG will be applied to the first applicant only.
9 Issue price Fixed in Indian Rupees on the basis of simple average of closing price of gold of 999 purity, published by the India Bullion and Jewellers Association Limited for the last 3 working days of the week preceding the subscription period.

The issue price of the Gold Bonds will be `50 per gram less for those who subscribe online and pay through digital mode.

10 Payment option  Through cash payment (up to a maximum of 20,000) or demand draft or cheque or electronic banking.
11 Issuance form The Gold Bonds will be issued as Government of India Stock under GS Act, 2006.

The investors will be issued a Holding Certificate for the same.

The Bonds are eligible for conversion into demat form.

12 Redemption price  In Indian Rupees based on previous 3 working dayssimple average of closing price of gold of 999 purity published by IBJA.
13 Sales channel  Banks, Stock Holding Corporation of India Limited (SHCIL), designated post offices (as may be notified) and recognised stock exchanges viz., National Stock Exchange of India Limited and Bombay Stock Exchange, either directly or through agents.
14 Interest rate Fixed rate of 2.50 percent per annum payable semi-annually on the nominal value
15 Collateral 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 RBI from time to time.

The lien on the bonds shall be marked by the depositary by the authorized banks.

The loan against SGBs would be subject to decision of the lending bank/institution and cannot be inferred as a matter of right by the SGB holder.

16 KYC documentation Know-your-customer (KYC) norms will be the same as that for purchase of physical gold.

KYC documents such as Voter ID, Aadhaar card/PAN or TAN /Passport will be required.

Every application must be accompanied by the ‘PAN Number’ issued by the Income Tax Department to the investor(s).

17 Tax treatment The interest on Gold Bonds shall be taxable as per the provision of Income Tax Act, 1961 (43 of 1961).

The capital gains tax arising on redemption of SGB to an individual has been exempted.

The indexation benefits will be provided to long term capital gains arising to any person on transfer of bond.

18 Tradability Bonds will be tradable on stock exchanges within a fortnight of the issuance on a date, as notified by the RBI.
19 SLR eligibility Bonds acquired by the banks through the process of invoking lien/hypothecation/pledge alone, shall be counted towards Statutory Liquidity Ratio.
20 Commission Commission for distribution of the bond shall be paid at the rate Rupee one per hundred Rupees the total subscription received by the receiving offices and receiving offices shall share at least paise 50 per hundred Rupees of the commission so received with the agents or sub agents for the business procured through them.

 

Gold Monetisation Scheme