Gold high, marriages slump

Greater Kashmir

Srinagar, Apr 23: Muhammad Amin, 60, is stunned at the whopping 45 percent hike in the gold prices. Amin was planning his daughter’s marriage this year but the rising prices of gold have forced him for a rethink.
Amin is not alone in his worry. The surging gold prices have become a cause of concern for many others with dealers complaining market depression. Satish, a jeweler at HSH Street here says he has witnessed over 90 per cent dip in his sales. “People do not purchase ornaments because prices have skyrocketed.”
At present 10 gram of gold cost around Rs 9500 (22 carrot). “Last month you could purchase the same quantity at Rs 6500,” Satish says adding that curiously four months before it was just at Rs 5600.
Among many other reasons, experts believe the political instability in many Gulf countries has resulted in the hike in the gold prices. A local business man said. “Iran and other crises have impacted the world economy, so one can say the political disputes around the world is a reason to catapult the prices,” he said.
Many people who where planning marriages of their kin in the coming months have postponed their programmes. Muhammad Aslam a resident of Channapora who expecting to marry off his daughter has cancelled the plan. “I can’t pay for the gold ornament at such a huge price,” he said.
Aijaz Ahmad Zargar who runs a gold shop in down town here said: “Instead of buying people come to sell their gold assets because they get handsome returns.”
“Since the prices of precious metal have risen I receive hundreds of customers daily seeking to sell their gold ornaments,” he added.
Experts fear the hike in gold prices can have sociological repercussions. Noted sociologist Bashir Ahmad Dabla says the extraordinary hike in gold and other commodities can make it miserable for the common people who over a period of time have grown highly profligate.
Interestingly many people are now looking for alternatives. Muhammad Amin says: I have decided to gift my daughter with the cash instead of golden ornaments on her marriage”.