By | 20th June, 2020

Local jewellers are desperately hoping that the festive season revives business and sales pick up However, a section of the industry believes that the government need to take corrective steps urgently to ensure revival.

Jewellers say that while Dussehra revived footfall in their stores, they hope that Pushya Nakshatra and Dhanteras brings more orders and sales. They are as optimistic about the wedding season that starts in November.

Navratri signalled the end of shraddh — the period determined by the Hindu calendar when people venerate their departed ancestors and do not purchase jewellery or other assets such as vehicles or homes – and lit hope in the heart of jewellers in the city.

“Business is only 40 per cent of what it used to be,” said Chinubhai Shah, president of Shree Choksi Mahajan, Manek Chowk, the traditional gold and ornament market in the city. “Only those who have a special occasion, like a wedding, are coming to make purchases.

Discretionary spending, which was apparent until a few years ago, is no longer seen. People no longer money to spend impulsively on jewellery, or also as an investment. Customers stick to their budget, which they would often exceed earlier.”

Jewellers blame high prices of precious metals as one of the reasons for the slowdown in sales. The price of 22-carat gold in Ahmedabad stood at Rs 37,500 per 10 gram on Tuesday and jewellers say it is unlikely to go below Rs 36,000. Similarly, silver was at Rs 45,000 per kg, which is unlikely to go below Rs 44,000. “When the retail market does not fare well, it affects the wholesale market too.

“Retail jewellers cut down the orders for raw materials,” said Shah. The Rupee weakening against the Dollar has made things more difficult.

Jigar Soni, vice president of the city’s Jewellers Association said that considering the present scenario, the government needs to reduce import duty, which will cut prices and lure buyers. “Gold has an import duty of 12.5% and GST of 3%, which need to be reduced immediately. Since gold prices are determined globally, there is a limited room to reign in prices. But the government can at least reduce taxes,” Soni told DNA, adding, “We hope things improve, else the situation may go out of control.”

Losing Its Shimmer

  •  Tradesmen complain business is 40% of what it used to be a few years ago
  • The damp retail market has affected the wholesale market, with lower orders for raw materials
  •  Experts say reducing the import duty of 12.5% and GST of 3% will bring down prices and lure buyers