Dhanteras and Diwali are drawing close, but bullion and electronic markets in Rajasthan are yet to feel the festive cheer. According to traders association, sales had dipped by almost 25% despite lucrative offers on electronic products and lower rate of the yellow metal. The only bright spot seems to be the 30% spike in sale of vehicles.
Rajasthan Electronic Trader Association general secretary Kamal Kandoi told HT: “We had expected a growth of 40% this festive season, but it declined by 25%.”
Kandoi said small retailers, who were facing a tough competition from multi-brand outlets, e-commerce and bigger stores, have seen a 25-30% decline in sales despite putting more money in promotion.
Bullion Traders Association also expressed their concerns about the slip in sales. “In 2015, the sale during Pushya Nakshatra was around Rs 200 crore in Rajasthan, with Jaipur alone accounting for Rs 40-45 crore. But this year it has declined to Rs 125 crore, while the state capital has so far witnessed just Rs 30 crore sale – a decline by almost 30-40%,” said president of Sarafa Traders Association, Kailash Mittal.
The jewellery business is going through a slump since April, when traders ended their strike against 1% hike in the excise duty. They hoped that falling prices would pep up sales during the festive season, but it seems that the falling prices have discouraged consumers, who feel that the rates may slide further.
Blaming the government policy for the poor sale, Mittal said: “Businessmen and people are afraid of investing in jewellery, especially gold, as the government policies are affecting their savings. The market is facing slump leading to work reduction by 30-35% in Rajasthan,” he said.
Auto Mobile Association general secretary Sai Girdhar, however, said the sector had registered a growth of 30% as compared to last year.
“With more choices coming up in the domestic market for consumers, the sale of passenger vehicles is increasing. The new pay commission has also pepped up purchases.”
“In October last year, around 10,000 four-wheeler vehicles were sold. This year we are expecting it to touch 15,000-mark,” he said.
The slump in market has even affected the sale of crackers. Rajasthan Firework Association president Suresh Hassani said there has been a decline in cracker sale by 25-30% as compared to last year.