Gold Buying Rush Due To Rs 2,000 Notes Withdrawal? What Jewellers Say

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Jewellery sale has risen after the central bank’s move to withdraw Rs 2,000 notes from circulation, but it can’t be compared with the 2016 rush when Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes were discontinued, say jewellers.The Reserve Bank of India’s Friday announcement to take back Rs 2,000 notes in exchange for lower denomination ones differs from the 2016 exercise as the Rs 2,000 notes will remain legal tenders.The 2016 exercise saw panic buying of the precious yellow metal, a trusted investment tool for middle-class Indians that was at half of its current prices. But the situation this time is different, says a top jewellers body.”There’s no huge rush, only a marginal increase in customers. The demand isn’t like 2016 because it’s not a note ban but a slow phase-out of the (Rs 2,000) notes,” said Surendra Mehta, national secretary at India Bullion and Jewellers Association Ltd.He also denied reports that customers are paying premium prices for jewellery.”There may have been isolated incidents. Gold prices are already very high at over Rs, 60,000, while it was around Rs 30,000 during demonetisation,” he said.The government guidelines require customers to submit KYC (Know your customer) details for transactions above Rs 50,000 and PAN card above Rs 2 lakh. For transactions above Rs 10 lakh, the Financial Intelligence Unit of the government must be informed, he added.Gold prices today saw a rise of Rs 485 per 10 gram and reached Rs 60,760. Last Friday, it was at Rs 60,275.But the rising prices didn’t impact gold sale in the country’s financial capital, neither did the note withdrawal move. At the century-old Zaveri Bazaar in Mumbai, it appeared like any other business day.The impact has been less this time due to a shift to digital payment mode after 2016, many jewellers believe. They claim only 10% of their transactions are in cash since most customers prefer digital modes.Kumar Jain, a jeweller, claimed customer footfalls have almost doubled at his store over the weekend. “Anyway, hardly 10% customers pay in cash,” he said, adding momentum was already there in gold sale due to the ongoing wedding season.But business was just usual for some others.”There’s no impact on gold sale due to the latest move. Not many people pay in cash. I am not getting many Rs 2,000 notes,” Indra M Ranaut, another jeweller, claimed.But then there were some who wanted to flush out the Rs 2,000 notes from their cash holdings. “I had Rs 2 lakh in Rs 2,000 notes. I am buying jewellery for my daughter’s wedding,” said a customer at a shop in Zaveri Bazaar.