MMTC to hold 5-day Festival of ''Gold-2007" in Goa from Nov 29

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Panaji, Nov 21 (UNI) The state-owned Minerals and Metals Trading Corporation (MMTC) plans to forge a joint venture company to open medallion minting unit in Haryana in addition to the one it had in Delhi, with demand for the medallions on rise in the country.

It had also planned to float another joint venture company in collaboration with the Rs 3000 crore worth Gitanjali group of companies to open a chain of retail outlets to sell hall marked gold and jewellery across the country.

Disclosing this to media, persons in connection with the holding of a 5-day ''Festival of Gold-2007'' showcasing a rainbow of gold and jewellery for the first time in Goa since November 29, the MMTC Group Manager A.Mazumdar (prime metals) said, ''The craze for medallions rose by 46 per cent, particularly among the youth and hence the new mint.'' To start with, the MMTC-Gitanjali joint venture would open 15 retail chains in tier-1 cities followed by another 15 in tier-II and 30 in tier-III cities offering a bouquet of jewellery under one roof to the consumers.

India, he said, continued to be the largest consumer of gold utilising 1200 tonnes per annum followed by China. This included 800 tonnes of regular imports and 400 tonnes used in recycling of gold for jewellery.

Stating that the jewellery market had been growing by about 6 per cent every year, Mr Mazumdar said the MMTC desired to exploit the market demand for handcrafted and hallmarked jewellery through exhibition-cum-sales festivals.

The Delhi-exhibition which just concluded netted a turnover of Rs 20 crores. It would organise similar exhibitions in Hyderabad, Chandigarh, Ludhiana and Ambala after the Goa-show.

It had been organising the exhibitions in different countries including the Middle-East with tremendous response. It meets the taste of different clientele in Kuwait, Doha, Dubai and Abu Dhabi where people use heavy weight jewellery.

With hallmarking of jewellery made compulsory with effect from January 2008, in metros to start with, the importance of MMTC's jewellery was on rise. All the items on display were tested for purity at the Bureau of Indian Standard (BIS) a proved Assessing and Hallmarking centres, he said.

Mr.Mazumdar, accompanied by his Chief General Manager (West Zone) Mr.Anand Trivedi, GM (Goa) Mr.S.N.Nayak and Gitanjali group representative Sudhir Pai, further said the MMTC had registered a whooping Rs.14,000 crore bullion sales turnover during 2006-07 as against Rs.9000 crore in the previous fiscal.

The proposed festival, considered the largest show in Goa, and supported by the Union Ministry of Consumer Affairs and the BIS, will exhibit 50,000 pieces including jewellery, gold bars, medallions and silver-ware of a wide variety.

The studded jewellery includes an exquisite collection of pieces with diamonds and other precious and semi precious stones besides Sanchi brand of silverware.

It also presents a stunning array of jewellery from Kolkota, Rajkot, Delhi and Konkan region besides pearls and studded diamond jewellery, dazzling kundan and platinum pieces, delicate silver jewellery and intricately designed chains, bracelets, rings and bangles in traditional and contemporary designs made by experienced craftsmen.

UNI

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