Jewellery sellers in India lost out on the opportunity to make large sales on Gudi Padwa festival, considered to be an auspicious day to buy gold, due to a strike called to protest duty raises in last week’s budget.
India, the world’s biggest buyer of bullion, celebrates Gudi Padwa, or Ugadi as it is known in some states, on Friday, which marks the end of the harvesting season.
“We are missing sales on this festival day... since it has been declared as a strike everywhere, even customers are not coming in,” said Kumar Jain, vice-president of the Mumbai Jewellers’ Association.
Some jewellers have been on an indefinite strike, while those in Maharashtra and Gujarat, which contribute to majority of sales, undecided so far on whether to extend their strike.
The government for the second time in 2012 doubled the import tax on gold bars, to 4 percent of value, raising the cost by more than 1,000 rupees per 10 grams.
Sales were also dented as banks, the primary sellers of bullion, were closed due to the festival.
Gold prices stayed flat, while silver edged higher tracking a rise in another industrial metal, copper.
Gold for April delivery on the MCX was steady at 27,910 rupees per 10 grams. Silver for May delivery was up 0.27 percent higher at 56,456 rupees per kg.