There has been a sharp rise in import of silver in Gujarat for the year 2011-12 compared to the previous year owing to better returns on investments in the precious metal.
According to the figures released by the customs department here, import of silver has increased by 193.76 per cent in FY12 compared to 2010-11. In year 2010-11, 328.64 metric tonne (MT) of silver, valued at Rs 1258 crore was imported. While in the year ended March 31, 2012 965.423 MT of silver valued at Rs 5177.58 crore was imported, a rise of 193.76 per cent.
President of the Manekchowk Gold Silver Association Harshwardhan Choksi said that steep increase in the imports was triggered by the high returns the investors got by investing in silver.
"Owing to the steady increase in the silver prices over the last couple of years many of the investors who previously used to invest in stocks and real estate have started investing in silver," Choksi said.
Also, increase in purchase power of people and rise in demand from industries have contributed to the hike in import of the precious metal, he said.
"There is nearly 100 per cent rise in people who want to invest in silver in the last 1-2 years," Choksi said.
Another bullion trader who did not want to be named said that since the investments in stock market and real estate were not giving good returns, many of the investors have shifted to silver.
They have seen over 60 per cent rise in investors wanting to invest in silver.
Also the physical trading has increased due to high prices of silver.
The spot price of silver in the Ahmedabad was quoted at Rs 55,830 per kg on Friday.