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Jewellery sales decline by half in four weeks on PMLA extension

Jewellers say the limit of Rs 50,000 too low, will meet Commerce Ministry official on Friday

Dilip Kumar Jha  |  Mumbai 

Jewellery
The PMLA regulation is good for the long term

sales have declined by around 50 per cent over the past four weeks, due to consumers’ deferring of orders amid fear of future action against them under the (PMLA).

The government recently extended to the sector. This restricts cash transactions beyond Rs 50,000 without a Know Your Customer (KYC) declaration. This regulation, however, contradicts the rule which permits cash transactions up to Rs 2,00,000 without a requirement.

A delegation comprising bullion dealers and jewellers across the country is scheduled to meet commerce ministry officials on Friday to apprise them of the massive impact on their industry. In past years, jewellers had 30-40 per cent of annual sales during the ongoing festive season, beginning from Raksha Bandhan to the New Year.

“Sales have declined by 50-60 per cent in the past few weeks,” said Surendra Mehta, secretary, India Bullion and Jewellers Association.

In a representation to the ministry of commerce, the body has sought a 10-fold increase in the cash limit for requirement, to Rs 5,00,000. It argues the price of gold was Rs 500/g when was enacted in 2002. So, consumers could have purchased 100g with the Rs 50,000 cash purchase limit. The price is now Rs 3,000/gm, six times more.

“The regulation is good for the long term; we are not averse to it. But, we want the government to raise the cash purchase limit to at least Rs 2,00,000 for Most of our customers are women who save money from the lumpsum amount given by husbands.

They normally accumulate their savings over a few months to buy jewellery, after achieving a threshold of Rs 50,000 or Rs 1,00,000. Calling for from such customers would be unfair — they do not want to disclose such details. Their money so saved is not black and nor is their intention to use for any illegal purpose. Women consumers’ objective is to use this in need,” said Kumar Jain, director, Umedmal Tilokichand Zaveri, a bullion dealer and retailer at Zaveri Bazaar here.

Kumar adds that many consumers never return after finalising the purchase when asked for a PAN (income tax) or Aadhaar number.

Apart from the issue, the pitripaksha fortnight (considered unlucky for purchase) is on. Consumers, therefore, are holding back on purchase

“The government will have to decide in which direction it wants the sector to be and whether such restrictions are really required,” said Ashok Minawala, director, All India Gems & Trade Federation.

The is estimated at around Rs 250,000 crore in India; the trade says 60 million skilled and unskilled workers are in it.

Losing Lustre
  • sales declined 50% in one month on weak consumer sentiment
  • Govt extends to the sector, which limits cash transactions up to Rs 50,000
  • Jewellers confused, as the current I-Tax Act limits cash transactions up to Rs 2,00,000
  • Bullion dealers and jewellers to meet consumer ministry officials on Friday, seeking 10-fold in rising cash transactions limit without KYC
  • They argue gold prices jumped 6 times in 12 years since was enacted hence proportionate increase in limit is required

First Published: Fri, September 08 2017. 01:11 IST
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