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Gold pledging on the rise as stress hits Indian households
By Anuradha Shukla
The New Indian Express, Chennai
Friday, May 21, 2021
NEW DELHI -- With businesses shut, jobs lost, and salaries slashed, many people are pledging their household gold savings to borrow money to meet their essential expenditures as well as emergency medical requirements, show official data from the Reserve Bank of India.
According to the latest RBI data, loans against gold have jumped a whopping 82% since March 2020. At the same time, consumer durables and education loans are down by 21.4% and 3%, respectively, showing how people affected by the economic stress induced by the coronavirus pandemic are prioritising their spending.
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The outstanding loans against gold went up from Rs 33,303 crore in March 2020 to Rs 60,464 crore in March this year, pushing the overall personal loan portfolio of financial institutions up by 10.02%.
One of the main reasons for the spike in gold loans is the increase in emergency spending due to the second Covid wave, loss of income, and reluctance of banks to give unsecured personal loans, forcing people to pull out gold ornaments and rush to banks to raise money.
According to bankers, the trend is likely to continue. ...
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