An Indian girl looks at a necklace as she shops for jewelry on Dhanteras, a day that marks the beginning of the Hindu festival of lights Diwali, in Ahmadabad, India, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018. Hindus consider Dhanteras an auspicious day to buy gold. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)
An Indian girl looks at a necklace as she shops for jewelry on Dhanteras, a day that marks the beginning of the Hindu festival of lights Diwali, in Ahmadabad, India, Monday, Nov. 5, 2018. Hindus consider Dhanteras an auspicious day to buy gold. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)

Top Indian gold seller shuts shops as industry grinds to a halt

By Swansy Afonso Time of article published Mar 23, 2020

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INTERNATIONAL - India’s jewelry industry has come to a standstill as the government locked down much of the country to try and stem the spread of the coronavirus.

Titan Co., the nation’s biggest jeweler by market value, has shut stores until March 29, it said in a statement. The company has also closed its manufacturing units for the week and will review the situation at the end of the period, it said.

Demand in India, the world’s second-biggest gold consumer, has already tumbled amid record domestic prices and a slowing economy. 

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state leaders over the weekend imposed an almost-complete lockdown as cases of coronavirus spiked, a move that will probably further hurt growth that’s already set to slow to an 11-year low.

FILE PHOTO: Salespeople wait for customers at a gold jewelry showroom in Chandigarh

Concerns about the virus have seen the local gem and jewelry sector come to a standstill with virtually no footfall in stores and many jewelers shutting shops located in malls and shopping complexes, according to the All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council. The industry is seeking an extension for repayment of loans and a reduction in the import tax on gold to 4% from the current 12.5%, it said. 

Titan Co., the nation’s biggest jeweler by market value, has shut stores until March 29, it said in a statement. The company has also closed its manufacturing units for the week and will review the situation at the end of the period, it said. Image: Bloomberg.
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