Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday launched ‘India International Bullion Exchange (IIBX)’, the country’s first international bullion exchange at the Gujarat International Finance Tec-City (GIFT City) near state capital Gandhinagar, which he had envisaged and set up as the Gujarat Chief Minister.
He also visited India’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) and laid the foundation stone for its headquarters building on the GIFT City campus.
The bullion exchange is expected to facilitate efficient price discovery with the assurance of responsible sourcing and quality, apart from giving impetus to the financialisation of gold in India, given that gold is tightly regulated in the country.
“We would have better price negotiation strength with the launch of this bullion exchange,” Union Finance and Corporate Affairs Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who was also present on the occasion, said.
Currently, there are nominated banks and agencies which have been approved by the Reserve Bank of India to conduct trade or import gold and sell it to dealers.
According to an official statement by the exchange, “The IIBX with its technology-driven solutions, will facilitate the transition of Indian bullion market towards a more organised structure by granting qualified jewellers direct access to import gold directly through the exchange mechanism.”
The Prime Minister also launched the NSE IFSC-SGX Connect platform, under which all orders on Nifty derivatives placed by members of Singapore Exchange Limited (SGX) will be routed to and matched on the NSE-IFSC order matching and trading platform. The Connect platform will deepen liquidity in derivative markets at GIFT-IFSC.
Modi said, “The International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA) will become an enabler, it will support innovation and also become a catalyst for growth opportunities. In 2008 there was a global economic crisis and recession. There was an atmosphere of policy paralysis in India. But, at that time, Gujarat was taking new and big steps in the field of fintech. I am glad that idea has progressed so far today.”
“India now stands shoulder to shoulder with countries like USA, UK and Singapore from where global finance is given direction. Today India is one of the largest economies in the world. Today a record foreign investment is coming to India,” Modi added.
The IFSCA has been established under the International Financial Services Centres Authority Act, 2019, and works as a unified authority for the development and regulation of financial products, financial services and financial institutions in the International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in India.
At present, the GIFT IFSC is the maiden international financial services centre in India.
Union Home and Cooperation Minister Amit Shah, Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Union Ministers of State for Finance Pankaj Chaudhary and Bhagwat Kishanrao Karad as well as Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel were present at the events.
According to reports, India is the second highest consumer of precious metals. India imported 1,069 tonnes of gold in 2021, up from 430 tonnes a year ago. China remains the highest consumer of gold. They run such a bourse, where all domestic production and imported gold have to be bought and sold.