India’s recent ban on export of gold jewellery and medallions above 22 carat will not affect Omani markets, jewellers in Oman have said.
India had banned the sale of gold products with a purity of above 22 carats to remove irregularities in trade, earlier this week.
In a notification, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade (DGFT), said, “The Foreign Trade Policy 2015-20 has been amended to allow the export of gold jewellery (plain or studded) and articles containing gold of eight carats and above, up to a maximum limit of 22 carats only from domestic tariff area and export oriented units (EOU) or any such privileged facilities.”
“We don’t expect a big effect as we don’t directly import 24 carat gold from India. Even if there is a ban, very few people buy 24 carat gold as jewellery, so it affects a small minority of our customers and there are always alternatives for suppliers,” an official from a reputed gold firm said.
Jewellery is normally carved out of 18 and 22 carat gold as 24 carat, the purest form of gold with around 99 per cent purity, is fragile and bends easily, therefore, unfit for making regular jewellery. Most customers buy 24 carat gold as gold bars as an investment only purpose.
China is the largest exporter of gold in the world. According to Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, India exported $1.3billion worth of gold jewellery, medallions and coins in the last financial year from April 2016 to March 2017.
“We are not aware of the ruling from the Indian government yet but if this is the case there is going to be an impact on the Omani market. We can’t say if the impact is going to be big or small, but there will be some,” Rajesh Govindan, country manager, Liali Jewellery in Oman said.
According to one of the jewellers, 24 carat gold, which is included in the ban, is a very small part of the sales and therefore there is little impact. “Most people who buy 24 carat jewellery are the ones who want to make an investment in gold. But in Oman we see most people buy jewellery. Only five to 10 per cent of people buy 24 carat gold and there is little jewellery made out of these so very less impact and there can surely be alternatives to the place of origin of these,” he said.
“Most of the NRIs buy gold in the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council) and then take it to India due to assurances on purity here. Clearly, people who want to buy 24 carat will be affected in this case but I don’t know if this will be replaced by gold from other countries,” Shruti C.C., an Omani resident said.
“I am sure 24 carat gold does not matter really to anyone looking for jewellery. If it was 22 carat, there are so many collections from India and that would be a huge effect on the population in Oman surely. Everyone I know who buys gold would be affected but not for this,” Ayesha Ahmed, another resident said.
-Times of Oman