KOCHI: Looking forward to generate some business on Akshaya Tritiya day falling on April 26 to tide over the loss caused by lockdown, gold merchants in Kerala have knocked at the doors of Central and state governments seeking permission to open jewellery shops for at least three days in connection with Akshaya Tritiya. Akshaya Tritiya is considered to be the most auspicious day to buy gold and the merchants focus on this day to generate business of a minimum 10 per cent of their annual sales.
As per industry estimates, the lockdown from March 25 has caused a loss of around `400 crore which is 10 per cent of the annual sales.
“The gold sales in Kerala is around `40,000 crore a year and the lockdown has so far resulted in a loss of 10 per cent of the sales. The industry will not be able to sustain a shutdown for another 15 to 20 days considering the operational cost involved in running the shops,” said All Kerala Gold and Silver Merchants Association (AKGSMA) state president B Govindan. He said the association has taken up the matter with the Centre and the state about the need to allow jewellery shops to function considering the volume of business the shops generate on Akshaya Tritiya. “It will give us an opportunity to offset a percentage of loss caused by the lockdown,” he added.
As per World Gold Council, Kerala alone accounts for 80 per cent of gold market in the country. “It’s not going to be an easy scenario as market has already dried up in the last 23 days. There will be shortage of gold in the market as import has come to a standstill. Instead of new sales, we are expecting more trade in used gold ornaments as customers will come to showrooms for selling their gold ornaments to raise money.
Even the steady rise in price of gold in the last 10 to 12 days will affect the sales and public sentiment. For the next three to four months, it’s going to be challenging days for the gold merchants,” said All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council chairman N Anantha Padmanabhan. The gold price on April 16 touched a month high of Rs 33,600 for a sovereign.