New Delhi: Indians are historically famous for their obsession with gold. Despite the efforts from Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee to check the sales of gold in the country, it has refused to come down. By seeing the preparations of bullion market, gold companies and gold funds, it seems that sales of gold is going to break all records on the day of Akshya Tritiya. Pranab Mukherjee had imposed 4 percent import duty on gold imports to curb the gold consumption in the country.

President of Delhi Bullion and Jewellers Associations Vimal Goel has said that on the day of Akshya Tritiya, sales of gold jewellery and coins will be 1.5 to 2 times more than the sales accounted on normal days. Gold price has been stable in last few days whereas other investment options are witnessing tough time due to slowdown in economy.

In such scenario, investors and buyers can be easily attracted to gold. However, there are not any reliable figures available of gold trade on the day of Akshya Tritiya. Approximately on the day of Akshya Tritiya it is estimated that gold sales and purchase of 45 tonne in 2009, 20 tonne in 2010, 30 tonne gold biscuit in 2011 has been done. This time it is estimated that there will be 20 percent rise in the sales of gold this year.

To woo the customers, rivalry has already been started between small traders, big companies and banks. A senior official from MMTC has said that during 21 to 25 April, there is a chance of gold sales increase by 27 percent. Company has launched new series of jewellery for the occasion. Reliance Jewel has launched double gold rate protection for the day which allows gold jewellery booking in advance. Under this facility, if the price of gold rises on the day then the margin increase will not be taken from the customer whereas in case of drop in the prices, customers will be allowed to buy the gold on reduced prices.

World gold council (WGC) has launched special scheme for the occasion. Gold coins of WGC can be purchased with the discount of 6 percent from the selected 980 post offices in the country. ICICI bank, Kotak Mahindra Bank is selling specially prepared gold coins for the occasion.

Exchange traded funds (ETFs) are also preparing for the day of Akshya Tritiya. According to the statistics of last two years, customers are more inclined to buy gold from the stock exchanges. With the slowdown in economy, customers may tend to invest more in gold. In last one year, most gold based mutual funds have given a return of more than 30 percent. This is the reason that National Stock Exchange has announced to open the markets for gold ETFs till 8 in the night.

(JPN/Bureau)