"The Modi government secretly transported 200 tonnes of the Reserve Bank of India’s (RBI) gold reserve overseas immediately after coming to power in May 2014, a candidate fighting the Lok Sabha election from the South Delhi constituency has alleged."
An article published by National Herald on 2 May titled ‘Did the Modi govt secretly transport 200 tonnes of RBI’s gold to Switzerland in 2014?’ claims that Navneet Chaturvedi, who is contesting Lok Sabha elections from South Delhi constituency and is also an "independent investigative journalist," as per his Twitter bio, derived the conclusion "after filing an RTI seeking information on the existing gold reserves of the RBI last year and through the study of central bank’s annual reports."
He claims that the missing gold is the same which was bought by the Indian government from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2009.
After Congress tweeted the article, many others on social media shared the news.
Did the Modi govt secretly transport 200 tonnes of RBI’s gold to Switzerland in 2014?— Congress (@INCIndia) May 2, 2019
“What did the government get in return for exchanging the gold? Why is the information about the transaction not available in public domain?”https://t.co/tvlefhPNke
TRUE OR FALSE?
The claims made in the article are false. The Reserve Bank of India, on Friday, 3 May, clarified on safe custody of its gold reserves.
"“We have come across reports in certain sections of the print and social media regarding RBI shifting abroad a part of its gold holding in 2014. It is a normal practice for Central Banks world over, to keep their gold reserves overseas with Central Banks of other countries like Bank of England for safe custody.”" - RBI Statement
“It is further stated that no gold was shifted by the RBI from India to other countries in 2014 or thereafter. Thus the media reports cited above are factually incorrect," read the statement.
According to the annual report 2013-2014 of the RBI stated, "The Reserve Bank holds 557.75 metric tonnes of gold of which 292.26 metric tonnes are held as an asset of the Issue Department and the balance 265.49 metric tonnes is treated as part of the other assets of the Banking Department.”
"“The value of gold held in the Issue Department decreased by 3.6 percent from Rs 674.31 billion as on 30 June 2013 to Rs 649.78 billion as on 30 June 2014, reflecting declining international bullion prices.”" - Annual Report of RBI 2013-14
In the annual report of 2017-2018 of the RBI stated, "The Reserve Bank holds 566.23 metric tonnes of gold, of which 292.30 metric tonnes are held as backing for Notes issued as on 30 June 2018."
It also said that there has been an increase in the value of gold held back for notes issued, by 7.70 percent.
"The value of gold held as backing for notes issued increased by 7.70 per cent from Rs 690.30 billion as on 30 June 2017 to Rs 743.49 billion as on 30 June 2018, primarily on account of depreciation of Rupee vis-a-vis USD."
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