Gold sales may rise at Akshay Tritiya over fears of price increase after GST


MUMBAI: Friday’s festival of Akshay Tritiya is likely to bring cheer to the jewellery trade. Gold rates are reasonably low this season. Moreover, investors who fear that prices may rise after the imposition of GST July 1 may make the most of this opportunity.

Akshay Tritiya is one of the three-and-a-half auspicious mahurats on the Hindu almanac for purchasing gold jewellery and valuables. The festival falls April 28.

Wednesday’s gold rate at Waman Hari Pethe, Dadar, was Rs 29,600 per 10 gm for 24 carat and Rs 28,700 per 10 gm for 22 carat. Store manager Pradeep Madiye said, “The rate is equivalent to that of last year. However last year we failed to do business given that our showroom was shut over the issue of excise duty. Prospects are bright this season.” The store has stocked a range of necklaces, bangles, earrings and finger rings for the occasion.

Jewellers’ associations like the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) are hoping that the impending imposition of Goods and Services Tax (GST) will prompt customers to buy gold jewellery this season before revised rates come into force. Chairman Nitin Khandelwal said, “We are hoping for 20-30% rise in sales at the festival.”
Saurabh Gadgil of PNG Jewellers who is also director of the India Bullion Jewellers Association (IBJA) projected a 40% rise in revenue. “The stock market is at an all-time high and the wedding season is at its peak. I expect bullion, bridal jewellery and diamond jewellery will all appeal to various buyer segments,” Gadgil said.
Sanjay Jain, a goldsmith in Andheri West, was not so optimistic. “I feel people have already invested large sums in gold during the demonetisation drive and they fear further purchases may draw the scrutiny of income tax authorities. I expect volumes to be average,” he said.

However, Madiye had a counter argument. “Buyers are not anxious on that front. For one, they must furnish PAN numbers or pay by cheque only for purchases over Rs 2 lakh, and secondly, all those who had black money have converted it into white after demonetisation. They are bringing out all this white money to invest in gold now,” he said.


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