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Seeing fewer footfalls, Chennai jewellers urge chief electoral officer to permit transportation of precious metals

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Seeing fewer footfalls, Chennai jewellers urge chief electoral officer to permit transportation of precious metals

The Jewellers and Diamond Traders’ Association-Madras has submitted a memorandum of its demands. The Chennai Jewellers’ Association also plans to submit a memorandum of its own to the official

Chennai: Jewellers’ associations in Chennai have appealed to the Chief Electoral Officer (CEO) to frame guidelines on documents to be carried with ornaments and permit the transportation of precious metals with valid documents, as the Model Code of Conduct (MCC) is in force.

Many jewellery shops in the city are witnessing a dip in footfalls over the past week as customers are postponing purchases owing to the Lok Sabha election. S. Santhakumar, general secretary, The Jewellers and Diamond Traders’ Association-Madras, said sales had dipped by 50% in many shops as customers either postponed purchases or bought less owing to the fear of being questioned by surveillance teams. The spiralling price of gold was another deterrent. 

The association submitted a memorandum of their demands to the CEO, and suggested that the flying squads involved in checks must also be sensitized about the issue.

Jayantilal Challani, the association’s president, said transporting ornaments was becoming a challenge even with relevant documents. “We are facing challenges related to escalating gold price. We also must stock finished ornaments for the upcoming Akshaya Tritiya in May. If goods are withheld, it will add strain on the working capital and bank interest,” he said.

The Chennai Jewellers’ Association also plans to submit a memorandum of its own to the CEO. H.M. Sultan, the association’s president, said the escalating international prices, shift in investments globally, and Customs duty led to the price hike. “We have instructed members to comply with the MCC with relevant documents. The squads must be sensitized to identify genuine staff members and goldsmiths,” he said. 

Goldsmiths in the city are also facing a crisis with a sharp drop in orders. D. Jayagopi, President, Gold, Silver Ornaments Workers’ Welfare Association, said the orders had dropped from a minimum of 100 a month to about 25-30 this month. Merchants from other places had postponed orders as the cost of gold was on the ascendant.

Courtesy: The Hindu

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