Cheered by the everlasting demand for gold jewelry among all Indians, leading metal trading corporation, MMTC Ltd on Thursday launched its sixth edition of ‘Festival of Gold’ in Panaji.
The five-day exhibition-cum-sale that extends from 22-27 November has ‘Hallmark Gold Jewelry at Affordable Price’ as its theme and showcases plain gold and studded jewelry from over nine states of India.
Updating the media on MMTC activities, Mr MG Gupta, director, finance, said that the company imports and exports commodities with the thrust of trade being in metals such as iron ore, pig iron, precious metals, base metals and fertilizer (urea). However about 75 per cent of the business is from precious metals, viz gold and silver.
In bullion, Mr Gupta explained, “The company has transformed itself from a canalizing agency to a diversified trading corporation.” Thus, it not only meets the requirements of jewelers but has also forayed into retail sector since January 2012. Coming to Goa, Mr Gupta added that that the company caters to the bullion needs of the local gold smith community.
Sales of precious metals (mainly gold) to local jewelers in 2011-12 was Rs 75 crore compared to Rs 65 crore in 2010-11. As for retail sales, it is through two showrooms at Vasco and Curchorem. Of these, the Curchorem showroom, Mr Gupta pointed out “was started in September 2012” to cater to the demand accruing from residents employed in mining.
However, the stoppage of mining and the consequent slow down in consumption due to loss of income has “impacted MMTC bullion as well as retail gold sales.” It is “already visible in first six months sales figures of the company” and “also on the slow off take of jewelry from the Curchorem store” Mr Gupta said.
The gold festival was inaugurated by Mr Francis D’Souza, deputy Chief Minister, and Ms Shashikala Kakodkar, ex-Chief Minister, in the presence of senior officials of MMTC from Delhi as well as Goa.
Speaking at the occasion, the deputy Chief Minister said that the fact that MMTC is holding its sixth edition shows “locals are interested in buying gold.” While Ms Kakodkar pointed out that for a gold loving state like Goa, the “purity of the metal was important.”
The ex-Chief Minister who declared herself as a satisfied customer, said that “MMTC designs have the reputation of craftsmanship” which added to “the value.”
MMTC is one of the nodal agencies appointed by the Government of India for importing gold, silver and platinum for supply to exporters and domestic customers under outright sale, loan and replenishment schemes. It also contributes to India’s international trade by opening export opportunities across the globe for Indian products.
Gold prices, Mr Gupta, said would remain steady at higher levels in the near future. The ongoing exhibition, he said, caters to all customers starting from a 0.50 gm of gold medallion costing Rs 1,600. [NT]