Connect with us

Daily News

Maharashtra: People selling gold, jewellery to tide over pandemic crunch



PUNE/MUMBAI: From meeting hospitalisation costs to school fees and shop rents, a growing number of people are selling their gold jewellery to tide over the economic crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Sources in the state jewellers’ associations told TOI on Monday there has been an uptick in the number of citizens resorting to encashing their gold assets.

“This trend has been fuelled by mounting expenses such as school fees, hospitalisation costs, house rent, among other things in the face of slashed salaries and job losses. The number of people coming to sell off their gold jewellery has doubled in the last few days in comparison to pre-Covid times,” Fatehchand Ranka, president of Maharashtra Rajya Saraf Suvarnakar Federation, told TOI.

Ranka said not only those from economically weaker classes, but even those from the upper and middle classes were being forced to sell their gold. “Wedding ornaments like mangalsutras have also been sold by families to overcome the financial crunch,” said Ranka.

Kumar Jain, IBJA

Kumar Jain, president of the India Bullion and Jewellers Association Ltd, Mumbai, told TOI said 24-carat gold, which people may have bought for around Rs 30,000 is now fetching around Rs 49, 000 per 10 gm. “Several business owners are therefore selling gold to pay shops rents, electricity bills, staff salaries etc. It has been over a year since the pandemic began and the financial crisis has only worsened as restrictions on businesses continue,” he said. Jain said the trend has been more pronounced in the past three to four months. “Gold is the easiest to encash. In comparison to last year, we have seen an almost 60-70% increase in customers walking in to sell their gold jewellery,” he said.

Shailesh Ranka, Ranka Jewellers

Shailesh Ranka, owner at Ranka Jewellers Pvt Ltd, said until last year, people had reserves and many also took loans to meet expenses. “The reserves are now exhausted and people do not want to go into further debts by availing more loans.”

Jewellers in Mumbai, however, are not reporting an unusual rise in the number of people coming to pawn or sell their gold ornaments. TOI spoke to large and small firms that offer cash for gold, and only one reported a marginal rise. Arjun Singhvi (Jain) of Mahavir Jewellers in Borivli’s local Zaveri Bazar said a few families have been arriving to sell chains, mangalsutras or bangles to pay medical bills.

Representatives of Jugraj Kantilal and Chokshi Arvind, two major gold purchasers in Zaveri Bazar, said the situation in Mumbai was not dire enough to warrant people to sell the precious asset.

Ketan Parekh of Chokshi Arvind Jewellers said, “Perhaps that is true of lower income groups or daily wagers who live a hand-to-mouth existence. But one cannot generalise that middle class Mumbaikars are flocking to sell their jewellery. It is true that jobs have been lost and businesses are losing 20-50% of their income due to lockdown. But families have also automatically had to reduce expenditure.” In Bandra, Nilesh Soni of Thanks Gold said the trend was next to negligible.

Courtesy: Time of India

Latest News