RBI has issued a circular dated 13th April, 2020 consolidating all the guidelines with respect to its Sovereign Gold Bond scheme at one place for ease of compliance by the Receiving Offices.
III. Procedural Guidelines for servicing the bonds:
The ROs shall be guided by procedural/operational guidelines in connection with issue/ servicing of these bonds as under:
1. Nodal Branches/Offices
The Receiving Offices (ROs) and the other entities entrusted with the responsibility of issue/ servicing the bonds may identify a nodal office/branch for the purpose. The applications received at the various branches or offices may be forwarded to the nodal branch/office for further processing after preliminary scrutiny. Processing of the requests may be made part of the Citizen’s Charter of the ROs and other entities and the time line may be strictly adhered to. Details of the contact persons in these offices/branches may be given due publicity and effective customer grievance redressal mechanisms may be put in place and the same should be communicated to Reserve Bank of India. In addition, the contact details of a senior level functionary, not below the rank of Chief General Manager may also be advised to RBI. The ROs shall also keep us informed of the change in contact details from time to time.
(i) ROs are authorized to receive Application forms from eligible investors at the branches either directly or through agents. Applications shall be received at branches during normal banking hours on the weeks of subscription as notified by GOI/RBI from time to time. Subscription of the from shall be made in prescribed application Form A.
(ii) Every application must be accompanied by the ‘PAN details’ issued by the Income Tax Department to the investor(s). Relevant additional details may be obtained from the applicants, where necessary.
(iii) The Investor ID generated from RBI’s E-Kuber is a unique id which is created while applying for SGB or Inflation Indexed National Savings Securities- Cumulative, 2013 (IINSC-C). In case the applicant already has an investor ID issued by RBI’s E-Kuber portal for above investment in any of the earlier tranches, the same should invariably be quoted by investor while making any subsequent applications.
(iv) While accepting applications, ROs may ascertain from the applicant the details of existing investor ID if any. In case of failure to quote the same, the E-Kuber portal shall reject the application, while uploading the same.
(v) All payments for subscription to SGB shall be accepted in Indian Rupees through cash up to a maximum of Rs 20,000/-or cheque/ demand drafts/electronic banking. The cheque/ demand drafts shall be drawn in favour of the RO.
(vi) ROs need to ensure that the application is complete in all respects as incomplete applications are liable to be rejected.
(vii) The ROs may make arrangements to enable the investors to apply online, in the interest of better customer service. While providing online services, it is the responsibility of ROs to ensure that all relevant fields for capturing details of applicant, mode of holding and other details as per the terms and conditions specified in Notification are duly provided for.
(viii) On receipt of complete application as above, the ROs shall issue an acknowledgement receipt in Form B.
(ix) An incomplete application is liable to be rejected if all the requirements of the application are not fulfilled within the period specified for subscription.
(x) The cancellation of bonds is permitted till the closure of issue. However, no part cancellation of the application is permitted. No request for cancellation of the bond after closure of the issue shall be entertained under any circumstances.
(xi) The ROs are required to enter the data or carry out bulk upload for the subscriptions received by them in RBI’s E-Kuber portal. They shall ensure accuracy of data to prevent occurrence of any inadvertent errors. An immediate confirmation will be provided to them for receipt of application. In addition, a confirmation scroll will be provided for file uploads to enable the ROs to update their database.
(xii) The applicants are eligible for payment of interest on the subscription amount at savings bank rate from the date of application/realisation of fund up to the date of allotment i.e. the period for which the investor is out of funds. No interest is payable, in case the application is rejected for any reason attributable to the investor.
(xiii) The status of application rejected by RBI’s E-Kuber system should be notified by ROs and subscription amount refunded without any delay to the customer.
(xiv) Any delay on the part of ROs to refund the amount to any applicant, whose application is rejected will attract penalty @ Repo rate +2% for each day of delay.
3. Allotment of Bonds and Generation of “Certificates of Holding(COH)”:
(i) On the date of allotment, the “Certificates of Holding” are generated for all the successful subscriptions by RBI. These are sent to the customers who have provided their e-mail Ids. The ROs can also download the certificates from RBI’s E-Kuber portal and provide the same to their customers on request. The Certificate of Holding may be printed in colour on A4 size 100 GSM paper in the prescribed Form C.
(ii) ROs may note that as SGB is transferable/tradable and mere possession of Certificate of Holding should not be construed as proof of title.
(i) Nomination and its cancellation shall be governed by Section 9 of the Government Securities Act, 2006 read with Chapter III of the Government Securities Regulations, 2007. The nominations can be indicated by the customer at the time of subscribing to the bonds (in the prescribed Form D’ or at a later date. It is permissible to designate more than one person as nominees (maximum two) to a bond. Nomination facility is not available in case the investment is on behalf of minor.
(ii) Cancellation of Nomination: The holder of a Sovereign Gold Bond may apply for cancellation of an existing nomination in the prescribed Form ‘E’ and while examining the application it may be ensured that-(i) correct particulars of the Sovereign Gold Bond have been stated in the form; and (ii) the name/s of the nominee/s has/have been correctly mentioned in the form
(iii) Additions to existing nomination: The holder can nominate second person, in addition to the existing one. On submission of a fresh nomination in Form ‘D’, it may be examined and dealt with in the same way as the original nomination. In case of bonds held as stock certificates, the RO shall input such requests (cancellation/addition) into the E-Kuber system subject to its satisfaction that the details provided are correct and in order, using the facility provided in the E-Kuber portal. Acknowledgement may also be issued.
(iv) Claims of nominee/s: On the death of the holder, nominee’s/nominees’ claim may be recognized in terms of the provisions of Section 9 of the Government Securities Act 2006 read with Chapter III of the Government Securities Regulations 2007. Once a claim is received by the RO/Depository, as the case may be, it may recognize the claim in terms of Section 9 of the GS Act 2006 and Chapter III of the Government Securities Regulation 2007, subject to its satisfaction with respect to the legality, genuineness, and finality thereof, subject to its satisfaction that there is no rival claim in respect of such bond and on production of all documents required to substantiate the claim. For that purpose it may call for any other document or declaration, as it may consider necessary. It may also require the claimant to furnish a bond of indemnity for such amount as it may think fit, if found necessary. If the claim is found to be in order, the name/s of the nominee/s will be substituted as the bond holder/s in place of the deceased holder – and a fresh Certificate of Holding will be issued under proper authentication. In the event of doubt the case may be referred to PDO, Mumbai by the RO/Depository.
5. Forms of holding and dematerialisation
(i) SGBs are issued as Government of India stock by RBI and are eligible to be held in either Bond Ledger Account (BLA) with Reserve Bank of India or with Depositories viz NSDL/CDSL in the demat account.
(ii) The applicant can make a specific request either at the time of subscribing to the bond or at a subsequent occasion for conversion of the bond to dematerialized form. The process of conversion will be subject to the correctness of details supplied by the applicant, such as name, DP ID, Client ID and acceptance of the record by the Depositories. Care may be taken by ROs to ensure that the name of the investor entered by them in RBI’s portal corresponds with that in the Depositories’ records. Confirmation may be taken from the customer in this regard before uploading the details.
(iii) If the holder desires to convert the SGB held in BLA with RBI into de-materialised form subsequent to allotment, the ROs may accept the request along with details viz., name of the Depository, DP ID, Client ID, PAN of the first holder etc. The ROs shall enter the details in the E-Kuber portal. Such requests will be processed by Mumbai PDO, RBI on a consolidated basis every week and the details will be sent to the Depository as the case may be, for validation. Once the details are validated by the Depository, the bonds will be transferred by PDO Mumbai to Depository for onward credit to the demat accounts of the beneficiaries. Cases of rejection or acceptance as communicated by the Depository will be communicated to the ROs by Mumbai PDO, RBI. In cases of rejection, the ROs are free to resubmit the request after making the necessary corrections.
(iv) Timely servicing of all the SGB held in dematerialised form is the responsibility of the respective Depository viz NSDL/CDSL. They shall ensure timely credit of interest and repayment and render customer service to the demat account holders of SGB.
The customer may approach the Depository Participant, with a request for re-materialisation of the bonds with details of his holding. They may also specify the RO and bank account details (name of bank, branch, account number, IFSC and type of account) through which the bonds will be serviced pursuant to re-materialisation. The re-materialisation request may be prepared by the Depository Participant based on the application and may be forwarded to the Depository. The request may be submitted by depository through E-Kuber Portal. No trading will be permitted for the securities sent for re-materialisation. Post conversion, the bonds will be held in BLA with RBI and servicing of the rematerialized bonds shall be done by the RO specified by the investor.
7. Transfer of Bonds
(i) The Bonds are issued in the form of Stock Certificate and are therefore transferable before maturity to eligible transferees either wholly or in part by execution of an instrument of transfer in Form ‘F’, in case of bond held in the Bond Ledger Account in accordance with the provisions of the Government Securities Act, 2006 and the Government Securities Regulations, 2007.
(ii) In case of bond held in demat account with the NSDL/CDSL, the Beneficial ownership of dematerialised bonds can change either through trading in exchanges /off market transactions as per the extant practice through the Depository Participant
8. Procedure for recording transfer of bonds
(i) Investors holding bonds in BLA may approach the RO for effecting transfer of bonds before maturity from one eligible holder to another, through sale or by way of gift.
(ii) The RO may obtain the Transfer Form duly executed as per Form ‘F’ along with a copy of the Certificate of Holding.
(iii) The RO shall cross check the correctness of details given, with the data available on the E-Kuber portal/ their records.
(iv) The KYC details of both the transferor and transferee may be verified by the RO.
(v) The transfer request may then be processed through the E-Kuber Portal
(vi) It may be noted that in terms of sub-section (4) of section 9 of the GS Act, the existing nomination, if any, shall stand cancelled on transfer. If the transferee wants to add a nominee, the RO may do the needful as per procedure prescribed at paragraph 5 of these guidelines.
(vii) A revised Certificate of Holding may be generated from the E-Kuber Portal and issued to the transferee. The transfer of accounts will not disrupt interest payment schedule and the transferee/ holder will continue to earn interest on the relevant due dates.
9. Partial transfer of bonds held in stock certificate form:
In case of part transfer, the original Certificate of Holding shall stand cancelled and new Certificates of Holding may be generated and issued to the transferor and transferee reflecting the changed holding.
10. Recognition of title to SGB of deceased sole holder or joint holders and right of survivors of joint holders or several payees(when no valid nomination exists)
(i) Recognition of title to a bond of deceased sole holder or joint holders and right of survivors of joint holders or several payees, shall be subject to the provisions of Sections 7 and 8 of the Government Securities Act 2006 read with Regulation 6 of the Government Securities Regulations 2007.
(ii) Once a claim is received by the RO/Depository, as the case may be, it may recognize the claim in terms of Section 7 of the GS Act 2006 and Regulation 6 of the Government Securities Regulation 2007, subject to its satisfaction with respect to the legality, genuineness, and finality thereof, provided there is no rival claim in respect of such bond and on production of all documents required to substantiate the claim. For that purpose, it may call for any other document or declaration, as it may consider necessary. It may also require the claimant to furnish a bond of indemnity for such amount as it may think fit, if found necessary.
(iii) In the event of doubt, the case may be referred to PDO, Mumbai by the ROs/Depository.
11. Loan against the bonds and creation of pledge, hypothecation or lien.
(i) The bonds may be used as collateral security for any loan. The creation of pledge, hypothecation or lien on the bonds shall be governed by Section 28 of the Government Securities Act, 2006 and Chapter VII of the Government Securities Regulations, 2007.
(ii) The Loan to Value ratio as applicable to any ordinary gold loan mandated by the Reserve Bank of India shall also apply to the bonds.
(iii) The pledge/hypothecation/lien on the bond held in stock certificate form shall be recorded and revoked by the banks providing the loan, in accordance with the provisions of section 28 of GS Act and Chapter VII of GS Regulations, using the facility provided in the E-Kuber portal .The lien marking rights in case of bonds held in BLA is provided to the ROs, who can do the same through E-Kuber portal of RBI.
(iv) In case of dematerialized bonds, the lien is marked by the depositories in line with the practice followed for other stocks and shares which are accepted as collateral by the banks. The detailed procedure for marking of lien is provided in the user manual on our website.
(v) In the event of the bank invoking the pledge/hypothecation/lien, after initiating the necessary entry In E-Kuber, the authorisation request for transfer of the bonds to the bank may be submitted to PDO, Mumbai through E-mail in accordance with the provisions of Chapter VII, Regulation 21 of the Government Securities Regulation 2007, with additional supporting documents including court order, if any.
12. Payment of Interest
(i) The interest on the bonds, as applicable, shall be paid on a half yearly basis. The amount will be credited by RBI to the bank account of the holder of bonds in case of bond held in BLA through electronic means on the date on which the interest is payable. Where the bonds are held in dematerialized form, the interest amount will be disbursed through depositories, who will arrange to credit the amount to the bank accounts of the holders (as available in their records) through electronic means on the due date.
(ii) In case, it is not possible to accord credit to the account of the beneficiary due to closure of bank account or otherwise, destination banks shall return the transaction to PDO Mumbai/RBI within two hours of completion of the batch in which the transaction was processed along with details of UTR number.
13. Repayment of Bonds
RO/depository shall inform the investor about the date of maturity of the Bond one month before its maturity. The Bond shall be repayable on the expiration of eight years from the date of issue of the bond. No claim needs to be submitted to RBI for the purpose by the investors. Premature redemption of the bonds is permitted after five year from the date of issue of such bond, on the date on which the next interest is payable. The request for pre-mature redemption shall be submitted to the RO or Depository through DP (in case of dematerialized securities) at least 10 days before the next interest payment date. If the RO/Depository Participant/Depository so desires it can call for additional documents, KYC proof, declaration etc. The request shall be scrutinized to verify the correctness of the particulars and may be submitted to RBI through the E-Kuber Portal at least four days before the due date of interest. On maturity and in case of premature redemption, the Bonds shall be redeemed in Indian Rupees and the redemption price shall be based on simple average of closing price of gold of 999 purity of previous week (Monday to Friday) for SGBs issued under tranche 1 to 9 and previous three working days for tranches issued thereafter at the rate published by the India Bullion and Jewellers Association Limited. The redemption proceeds shall be credited to the bank account of the customer.
14. Payment of brokerage
ROs may by their own, appoint agents for increasing subscription of Sovereign Gold Bonds. Commission for distribution to such agents shall be paid at the rate of rupee one per hundred of the total subscription received by the ROs on the applications received and ROs shall share at least 50% of the commission so received with the agents or sub-agents for the business procured through them.
15. Change of address, correction of name, change of account number and other miscellaneous requests in case of bonds held in the form of stock certificates.
The requests of the customer (in plain paper) in case of bonds held in the form of BLA with RBI supported by the Certificate of Holding may be processed by the ROs through the E-Kuber portal after verification of the particulars and subject to their satisfaction. The ROs may call for additional documents if deemed necessary. The requests may be entered by ROs in the RBI portal for giving effect to the changes.
16. Preservation of Records
The application forms and other requests may be preserved by the ROs/ Depository Participants till the maturity of the bond. Premature redemption request may be preserved for three years from the date of payment of proceeds.
The link to various user manual related to various modules in E-Kuber is as under:
For subscription – SGB USER FLOW- INTIATION.
For Subscription Cancellation – SGB CANCELLATION.
For nomination – Nominee details modification.
For Transfer and lien marking – For Lien Marking and Transfer
For dematerialisation & re-materialisation – Demat and Remat Flow.
18. Contact Details
Any queries/clarifications may be e-mailed to the following:
(a) Sovereign Gold Bond related: Please click here to send email.
(b) IT related: Please click here to send email.
19. These procedural guidelines are issued by RBI in exercise of the powers conferred by sub-section (2) of Section 29 of the Government Securities Act, 2006 and of all the powers enabling it in this behalf and any non-compliance shall invite penal provisions under Section 30 of the Act, ibid.