Rajkot, April 7 : The jewellery trade in Gujarat appears to have suffered a major setback due to consistently fluctuating price that has resulted in loss of business in ornament sales here almost by half.
The setback can be noticed in the Rajkot's popular jewellery market that is the business hub in Saurashtra region of the State.
The Gold market has faced a heavy fluctuation during the last 20 days which has discouraged customers from visiting the generally crowded showrooms.
Rajkot is not only the hub of the gold manufacturing units but also boasts of over 200 exquisite showrooms. Only a few customers are found at the showroom these days. Just three weeks ago, the show rooms were buzzing with good business following relatively low prices and wedding season.
The market witnessed a high in price of rupees 1,45,000 for 100 gram and within a week it crashed to rupees 1,20, 000. The prices stood at rupees 88,000 about six months ago. he buyers are confused regarding the right time to purchase and interest in gold.
Yet there are many others, who do not perceive fluctuating prices as the sole reason for the recent downfall.
Hasmukhlal Radhanpura, an active member of Rajkot Gold Merchants Association maintains that the stock market could be one of the reasons behind the trend.
Gujraratis and other people in India have made huge investments in the stock market. Moreover, the prices of the other essential commodities have increased tremendously with virtually no scope left for spending on gold business.
Many businessmen in the market complain of loss of business.
"The prices today sometimes increase and decrease suddenly. Due to this, the purchase in the market has witnessed a downfall up to 40 to 50 percent," said Hasmukhlal Radhanpura, member of Rajkot Gold Merchants Association.
Many shopkeepers here can be found playing video games or Internet chatting. They used to remain busy almost throughout the day even on normal days.
"Earlier, we used to be that busy with our work that we used to sit the entire day working for 12 to 14 hours with our laptops, checking the rates and then doing the business. But now that no work is there, we are here playing games," said Harish Saholiya, Director of the Hallmark Laboratory in Rajkot.
According to market experts, the frequent price hike and fall in prices has kept customers away from purchasing gold ornaments.
"There is so much fluctuation that the customers get confused of buying. And due to this confusion, they are just unable to buy even though they want to. Moreover, in India and abroad, gold is considered as an investment. So, the customer is confused which has led to a downfall in the market," said Kishorbhai Barbhaya a showroom owner in the Old Gold market.
Besides, there are 50,000 artisans involved in the business of making jewellery in Rajkot, with many of them designing only ethnic jewellery, which are not only costly but also take long time, often more than a fortnight for a set.
Alas, with no buyers, not only the gold has been blocked but it might also loose its original manufacturing price if the prices experience a downfall.
Many business say that there should be certain regulations in the market on the pricing of the gold worldwide. They cite fluctuating prices to support their claim.
One fears that if the situation continues with no stability in market pricing, gold may not glitter for a long time.