‘Inadequate gold supply affecting pre-festive jewellery market'

Kathmandu, August 21

Inadequate supply of raw gold in the domestic market has been affecting the pre-festive jewellery market, according to jewellers.

The regular demand for raw gold has surged to over 40 kg per day since the past few weeks, however, the government's failure to increase the import quota of raw gold accordingly has largely affected the jewellery market, they said.

Moreover, hundreds of jewellery outlets remained shut today in Chitwan citing unavailability of raw gold.

Currently, Nepal Rastra Bank (NRB) allows commercial banks to import and supply a maximum of 20 kg of raw gold in the domestic market per day.

“The current import quota does not meet even half of the regular demand for gold in the market. If the supply quota is not increased, all jewellery outlets across the country will be forced to shut their outlets this festive season,” said Mohan Kumar Sunar, president of the Federation of Nepal Gold and Silver Dealers' Association.

According to him, the regular demand for raw gold in the domestic market is expected to increase further as festivals like Teej, Dashain and Tihar are approaching closer.

Jewellers have said that the inability of the government to supply raw gold as per the demand will not only affect jewellery business but will also encourage illegal smuggling of the yellow metal.

“We are tired of requesting the government and NRB to raise the gold import quota. Though we get assurances every time we meet concerned authorities, our demand has not been looked into,” said Sunar.

If the government is unable to supply gold as per market demand, jewellers have said that the government should allow the private sector itself to import raw gold.

Meanwhile, officials of the central bank have said that they are analysing the need to raise import quota of gold. “We will come up with a verdict on this issue soon,” informed Narayan Poudel, spokesperson for NRB.