Mumbai: Jewellers' strike coupled with lean season have taken a toll on gold imports during January-March, which is likely to drop by over 56 percent to 125 tonnes compared to the same period last year.
    
"It is March, which is a lean period for jewellery business. Moreover the loss in sales incurred during the 10 days of ongoing strike by jewellers will hit imports. It is likely to be less than 125 tonnes in the January-March period," Bombay Bullion Association President Prithivraj Kothari said here.
    
The gold imported during January-March 2011 was 283 tonnes and a total of 969 tonnes was imported in January-December 2011, according to World Gold Council.
    
The jewellers have reportedly incurred a loss of about Rs 10,000 crore during the strike.
    
Jewellers went on an indefinite strike on March 17 to protest the Budget proposal to levy excise on unbranded jewellery and to raise the customs duty to four percent from the current two percent.
    
India is the world's largest importer and consumer of the precious metal.

(Agencies)