For 10 grams gold bought, India Post offers half a gram free

January 12th, 2009 - 10:51 pm ICT by IANS  

New Delhi, Jan 12 (IANS) Buoyed by the “very good response” to its scheme for selling 99.99 percent purity gold, state-owned India Post Monday launched its Makar Sankranti offer of half gram of gold free with every 10 grams purchased.The offer, valid till Jan 21, will be available at 145 post offices in the eight states of Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Tamil Nadu, an official statement said.

The India Post offers gold coins in combinations of 0.5 gm, 1 gm, 5 gm, and 8 gm, the statement added.

Makar Sankranti, which Hindus consider one of the most auspicious days, is celebrated in most parts of the country with great devotion, fervor and gaiety.

Tens of thousands of people take a dip in places like Ganga Sagar in West Bengal and Allahabad in Uttar Pradesh and pray to the Sun god.

India Post, in association with World Gold Council and Reliance Money, in October 2008 ventured into the sale of branded gold coins of 99.99% purity, which was hitherto being undertaken by leading public sector undertakings and private sector banks.

The scheme was initially limited to 100 post offices across the Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu postal circles and in November 2008 was extended to Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab.

“India Post has been overwhelmed with the very good response from the public to this new initiative, especially from government servants and small investors,” the statement said, adding that the postal department “is seeking to take the gold coins to rural post offices at the earliest so that the benefit goes to the common man.”

“Small investors are buying gold coins from post offices for two obvious reasons. First, the gold coin prices are competitive and economical compared to the offers from other suppliers including banks. Second, post offices are focusing on the low-end denominations, thus making them more accessible,” the statement pointed out.

Gold is the latest addition to a range of retail activity that India Post has taken up.

It has been selling various products under its retail post category “and there is sustained growth in the revenue from these activities”, the statement said.

Post offices sell application forms of the Union Public Service Commission and universities, Darjeeling tea in West Bengal, aloe vera products in Gujarat and take orders for distributing the sacraments of various temples in Andhra Pradesh and Kerala.

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