The Securities and Exchange Board of India (‘SEBI’) has issued a consultation paper dated 19th May, 2021, on proposed framework for Gold Exchange in India and draft SEBI (Vault Managers) Regulations, 2021 (‘Consultation Paper’), thereby seeking public comments on the framework for operationalising gold exchange and the regulation of intermediaries inter-alia Vault Managers.
While the idea of setting up a regulated gold exchange was highlighted in the Union Budget 2018-19 as well as in the Budget 2021-22, the Consultation Paper comes as the first concrete step towards bringing into operation a gold exchange for the Indian market. This comes in the backdrop of the fact that despite being the second largest consumer and importer of gold, India continues to be a price-taker – India does not play any significant role in influencing the global price-setting for the commodity. As such, the Consultation Paper envisages an entire ecosystem of trading and physical delivery of gold so as to create a transparent and robust market which paves the way for India to become a global price setter.
That being said, before delving into the procedural aspect, it is important to understand the fundamentals as to what are the objectives being aimed, what would the target market look like, and if at all the proposed framework would put the investors, the parties and the nation in a better place that is today.