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Gold industry has a great potential to create jobs and contribute towards economic growth, systematic structure is required : Rajaraman

Mr K Rajaraman, Additional Secretary, Department of Economic Affairs announced that “As gold industry has a great potential to create jobs and contribute towards economic growth, a sound policy framework that is systematic in structure is required. A systematic gold policy framework will align the interest of different stake holders with the objectives of policy. He emphasized on the need for more research on consumer behaviour related to gold, as well as on product design, spot exchange and how banks could include Gold in their options. “He made this announcement at the inaugural session of the Conference on Gold and Gold Markets 2019, organised by the India Gold Policy Centre (IGPC) of the Indian Institute of Management — Ahmedabad (IIMA) here today. Also present on the dais were Mr P R Somasundaram, MD, World Gold Council India; Prof. Arvind Sahay, Professor of Marketing and International Business and Chairperson of IGPC; and Mr Brian M Lucey, Professor of International Finance and Commodities, Trinity College Dublin.

Mr Lucey, who is also editor of the International Review of Financial Analysis, International Review of Economics and Finance and Finance Research Letters, was presented with the ‘MCX Award for Excellence in Research on Gold’ for the year 2019, for his contribution towards academic research in gold and precious metals. In his keynote address, Mr Lucey discussed the research gaps in the study of gold.

Addressing the gathering, Mr P R Somasundaram said, “It is important to generate research based insights that are industry relevant. And helps to provide inputs to the policy making process.”
“Earlier, Prof Sahay welcomed the gathering, describing the event as “a forum that IGPC would like to develop as the forum for research based insight on gold in India. That brings to gather academia and industry.

This was the institute’s second conference on policy-relevant research on gold-related topics and focused on a wide spectrum of topics that ranged from household motives to invest in the precious metal to macroeconomic policy choices. It served as a platform for meaningful interaction among academia, policy makers and other key stakeholders in the gold ecosystem.

A panel discussion on ‘The Way Forward for Gold Policy and the Next Steps’ was moderated by Mr Somasundaram. He kick started the discussion with the observation that he hoped that the forum would evolve into a deeper and wider forum on research on gold that could provide insights. The panel, comprising Mr Rajaram, Prof Sahay and Mr Mrugank Paranjpe, CEO, Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd, shared their views on the future of the yellow metal.

Mr Neville Patel, Head of Precious Metals Division, Treasury, HDFC Bank, moderated a panel discussion on ‘Bullion Banking in India: Creating Opportunities and Developing a Sustainable Model’. Panellists included Mr Vikram Mehrotra, Asia Head of Metals Sales, ANZ Bank, Singapore; Mr Surinder Pal Singh, Director, Department of Economic Affairs; Mr Manish Goel, Director, Scotiabank India; Mr Jeremy East, Industry Consultant and former Global Head of Precious Metals Sales at Standard Chartered Bank; and Mr Manish Padhye, Deputy General Manager, Treasury, ICICI Bank India. Jointly the panel felt that bullion banking in India was not fully developed. That it needed to get scale along with the permission to trade in unallocated gold to help depend the financialization of gold.

The derivatives market was discussed threadbare at a panel discussion on ‘Driving Growth in the Indian Gold Derivatives Market’. Panellists included Mr Abdul Nazar, Head Bullion and Banking, Malabar Gold and Diamonds; Mr Shivanshu Mehta, Head — Bullion, Multi Commodity Exchange of India Ltd; Mr Nagendra Kumar, Sr. VP and CBO, National Stock Exchange of India Ltd; Mr Sameer Patil, Head — Business Development, Bombay Stock Exchange India Ltd; and Prof Joshy Jacob, Associate Professor for Accounting and Finance, IIMA. The discussion was moderated by Mr Viral Shah, Sr VP and Head of Commodities at India Infoline Wealth Pvt Ltd.

Technical sessions covered the macroeconomic dynamics of gold; prices and derivatives; and consumer behaviour and investment; The sessions dealt with present day issues such as whether the volume of consumption influences the world price of gold; the gold futures market; predictive analytics for devising gold prices; consumer perceptions about the symbolic value of gold; consumption trends and the challenges in scaling gold retailing.

Closing comments were made by Mr Rajesh Khosla, Chairman Emeritus, MMTC-PAMP India Ltd., Mr Bhargava Vaidya, CA, and Prof Sanket Mohapatra, Associate Professor of Economics, IIMA. They offered the industry viewpoint. The event ended with a vote of thanks by Head, IGPC.

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