Odisha: Gold price fails to dent jewellery sale in Twin city

However, business at a majority of the stores on the Janpath Road was hit due to the prime minister’s roadshow.
A woman tries gold ornaments at a jewellery store in Bhubaneswar
A woman tries gold ornaments at a jewellery store in Bhubaneswar Photo | Shamim Qureshy

BHUBANESWAR: A sharp rise in gold prices notwithstanding, sale of the precious yellow metal on Akshaya Tritiya remained high in the twin city on Friday.

However, at Janpath in the capital, where majority of the jewellery stores are located, business was subdued owing to traffic restrictions imposed for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s roadshow.

In order to woo customers, almost all jewellers offered heavy discounts on making charges and other value-added incentives on the day. Not only gold, but people also bought diamonds, silver and gold coins and bars on the day, which is considered auspicious for buying precious metal.

Catering to the wedding season this year, the gold sales revolved around both light and heavy weight jewellery items. On Friday, 22 carat gold jewellery sold at Rs 67,000 per 10 gram and Rs 72,030 per 10 gram of 24 carat gold. “Although prices are high, they have remained stable for the last few days. Also because the weather was good today, the rush for gold shopping on the day remained high since morning,” said Sourav Roy, vice-president of Odisha Jewellers Association.

Compared to last year, the price of gold (22 carat) has risen by Rs 11,250 this time. Last Akshaya Tritiya, the price of 24 carat (10 gram) was Rs 61,080 and 22 carat (10 gram) Rs 55,750. In 2022, while 22 carat gold jewellery sold at Rs 48,200 per 10 gram, the cost of 24 carat was Rs 51,500 per 10 gram. Owing to hike in gold rates between 2022 and 2023, last year, business on Akshaya Tritiya was down by 35 per cent. “This year, gold rate has seen a steep hike and there are not many wedding dates. But, this has not affected the sales,” sais Mitesh Khimji, director of Khimji Group.

He said people consider investment in gold as a safe bet because of high returns. For the last two years, the return rate from the yellow metal has been hovering around 19 to 20 per cent. During Covid-19 pandemic, the price of 22 carat gold was Rs 50,000 here.

However, business at a majority of the stores on the Janpath Road was hit due to the prime minister’s roadshow. Janpath has close to 20 jewellery stores, both big and small. Since the jewellery stores on the four-km road stretch from Master Canteen to Vani Vihar were asked to shut down by 4 pm for the roadshow, they opened early at 9 am and saw a seven-hour business instead of the regular 12-hours during Akshaya Tritiya every year.

Many of the stores diverted their customers to their other branches. “Since we were aware of the PM’s programme, we went to a jewellery store in the morning and completed our shopping before 2 pm. Usually, these shops at Janpath remain open till 12 am on Akshaya Tritiya day,” said Sribala Mohanty of Saheed Nagar.

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