“The fluctuation depicted in Weekly Statistical Supplement (WSS) is due to change in frequency of revaluation from monthly to weekly basis and is based on international prices of gold and exchange rates," RBI said on its handle on the micro-blogging website Twitter.
According to a report by The Economic Times, the Reserve Bank has been selling gold from its reserves. The report said RBI has bought gold worth $5.1 billion and sold about $1.15 billion of gold since the start of its business year in July. The value of gold in the country’s forex reserves amounted to $26.7 billion on 11 October.
Going with the calculation shown in the news report, RBI appears to have started trading in gold more actively since adopting the Bimal Jalan Committee report on its economic capital framework.
The total amount of gold reserves at the RBI was 19.9 million ounces at the end of August, around the same time when the central bank accepted Jalan panel’s report, the report said. The committee had advised that after providing for various risk buffers, which could be 5.5% to 6.5% of the RBI’s balance sheet, the entire realised surplus can be transferred to the government.
The Jalan Committee was set up last year amid heightening debate over sharing the Reserve Bank’s surplus income with the government to fund its deficit.
Tension over transfer of reserve surplus was citied as one of the reasons for former RBI governor Urjit Patel’s resignation last December. The government and RBI were at loggerheads over the latter’s hawkish stance amid benign inflation and signs of slowing economy with the banks and non-banks facing severe liquidity crunch.