Turkey’s government is planning to require jewellers to deposit gold with state-run banks to raise additional funds for the economy, Sözcü newspaper reported.
Each jeweller will deposit 500 grammes of gold with the banks, Sözcü said on Tuesday, citing draft regulations prepared by the Trade Ministry. The total gold collected will be around 20 tonnes and will be worth approximately 8.4 billion liras ($1.1 billion), it said.
Jewellers are shocked by the proposal, the newspaper reported. The regulation resembles taxes imposed during the Ottoman era, said Özcan Aygun, a parliamentarian for the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP).
The firms will not be able to use the gold, which will be deposited as a guarantee, but they can earn interest from it, Sözcü said.
“I hope they will fix this, we have to find a middle ground,” said Hasan Çavuşculu, who heads an association of jewellers and watch retailers in the Turkish capital Ankara, according to the newspaper. Most probably the government will cancel the plans, he said.
There are approximately 40,000 jewellers in Turkey, Sözcü said.