Akshaya Tritiya, a Hindu festival that is said to be auspicious for buying gold, has turned into nothing but despair for lakhs of jewellers across India. The occasion, which usually falls in the Summer season, has forced jewellers into losses due to lockdowns across many states for two consecutive years.
Traders body Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said, “According to an estimate, due to the lockdown and coronavirus restrictions, the gold and jewellery trade recorded a loss of about Rs 10,000 crores. Last year too, due to the lockdown, jewellery traders were not able to do any significant business on Akshaya Tritiya.”
In India, there are around 4 lakh gold and jewellery traders. Since both the festival's of Eid and Akshaya Tritiya falling on the same day, the gold traders and jewellers have lost additional business as there is a lockdown in most of the states of the country, said BC Bhartia, National President, CAIT.
Jewellers across the country are expecting a mere 10-15% sales due to movement restrictions announced by the government. "As most of the states are under lockdown to curb the infections there is almost no business activity. The day of Akshaya Tritiya has begun on a slow note and whatever booking or enquiries are happening it is only through tele or digital medium," All-India Gems & Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) Chairman Ashish Pethe told PTI.
The second Covid-19 wave has proved to be deadlier than the first one, with India’s tally of total cases rising to 2,40,46,809. The death toll has swelled to 2,62,317 with around 4,000 fresh fatalities updated on Friday, according to the Union Health Ministry data.