"We are expecting a near washout"
India’s gold and jewellery market has dwindled amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
The usual sale seasons have also decreased in popularity since 2020.
The trend is still going on and it is creating a financial crunch in the Indian gold and jewellery market, as India’s jewellery retailers are facing a second consecutive year of low sales.
India’s gold market marks its highest sales every spring because of the traditional Akshaya Tritiya annual festival.
The festival symbolises endless prosperity and hence urges people to buy new jewellery for good luck.
However, with the overall financial crunch of the economy and jewellery being a luxury, there is almost no market for gold in India in the current crisis.
The chairman of All-India Gems and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC), Ashish Pethe said:
“With almost 90 per cent of states under lockdowns to curb the infections, retail jewellery stores are closed and no delivery is allowed.
“We are expecting a near washout of this Akshaya Tritiya as well.”
The executive director of the famous jewellery brand Kalyan, Ramesh Kalyanaraman also mentioned that this year’s Akshaya Tritiya is likely to garner a sales volume similar to that of 2020.
“Looking at the reports of loss of life and the havoc the pandemic is having at the ground level, we have decided not to actively go for any promotional activities this year.
“Out of our 150 showrooms across the country, only 10 to 15 are open.”
Apart from Covid-19, the jewellers in India are now faced with a new law that restricts them to only sell gold that is hallmarked.
The law will be applicable from June 1, 2021.
Initially, the law was to be enacted on January 15, 2020, however, the deadline was extended due to the pandemic.
Leena Nandan, the consumer affairs secretary, has now announced that no extension of the deadline has been sought and thus, gold hallmarking will become compulsory from June 1, 2021.
The national secretary of India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA), Surendra Mehta shared his views on the hallmarking law.
“The association will be seeking an extension of the deadline as jewellers will not be able to comply with the deadline.”
He further explained that gold and jewellery retailers are still stuck with old stock.
The new law restricts the jewellers to only sell gold jewellery with hallmarking of 14, 18, and 22 carats(K).
The hallmark will be a certification of purity given by assaying and hallmarking centres (AHCs) accredited by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).
Therefore, in order to sell hallmarked jewellery, the retailers must get a licence from BIS.
Thereafter, they can get their jewellery or artefact hallmarked at any BIS-recognised assaying and hallmarking centres.
Gold hallmarking is done in three categories of carats, which are 14K, 18K and 22K.