Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, May 2:
Despite a fall in gold prices, the auspicious Akshaya Tritiya failed to attract buyers this year as Odisha recorded 20% less sale than last year, with the volume of gold trade fetching about Rs 80 crore.
Even though thousands of people thronged the jewellery showroms to buy gold and silver ornaments on the auspicious occasion, the total sale figure was too low to bring any cheer to the gold retailers.
Gold retailers attributed the slackness in sales this year to a number of reasons-inflation, elections, market uncertainties, ban on the sale of gold coins,hike in the duty on gold import and other curbs imposed by the government to control the current account deficit.
“The market is down due to various reasons. While the government has put restriction of gold import, the elections have made the gold business sluggish. The model code of conduct is in place and so there isn’t much liquidity in the market. Besides, government policies, like the 80:20 policy introduced last August which means that we have to export 20% gold and import just 80%, all these have added to the retailers’ woes,” said Alok Panda, area manager of Getanjali Jewellery for Odisha, Bihar and Jharkhand.
Buying of gold and silver on Akshay Tritiya is a recent phenomenon in Odisha where festivities on this day are primarily associated with agricultural operations. Considered a very auspicious occasion for the start of all new ventures, it heralds a new agricultural season and also marks the beginning of the construction of the Raths or chariots for the grand Rath Yatra festival in Puri.
Farmers across the state observed the occasion today with traditional rituals including the the symbolic sowing of paddy on their agricultural land.