This Akshaya Tritiya, gold purchases under EC radar
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This Akshaya Tritiya, gold purchases under EC radar

Jewellers worried due to restrictions; Officials say genuine buyers need not panic

Mysuru, Apr. 17 (PM&BCT)- Tomorrow (Apr. 18) is Akshaya Tritiya and buying valuables including gold, diamond and silver on that day is considered auspicious. Thanks to the Assembly election, this time, however, high-value gold purchases will be monitored by the Election Commission (EC) as there is a strong suspicion that candidates will use the occasion to hand out gold pendants, nose rings, ear-rings and other ornaments as freebies to voters.

The Election Commission has directed the Department of Commercial Tax and Income Tax Department to keep a hawk’s eye on the gold purchases. Even the day-to-day purchases are under scanner ever since the Election Model Code of Conduct came into effect. The vigil, however, has been heightened of late as the election date draws nearer.

SLUMP IN ADVANCE BOOKING

Following strict rules and regulations, many purchasers, who otherwise buy gold for  Akshaya Tritiya by paying advance amount, are dithering from doing so as the purchase they make come under immediate scrutiny. Jewellers say that this year, they have witnessed a slump in advance booking.

Election and department officials feel that Akshaya Tritiya is an ideal time for politicians to purchase golden nose studs/ rings and distribute among voters. While the politician can hope for rich electoral dividends, the voter feels that they have got gold on an auspicious day.

GOLD FOR VOTE

Sources in the Election Commission said they have heard of some candidates and their supporters distributing gold items to women. Aspiring candidates are reportedly making bulk purchases of gold and silver through their supporters. Politicians also want to cash in on the belief that purchasing the precious metal, be it even a gram, on this auspicious day, will bring prosperity.

Jewellers in the city have been directed by the Departments to alert them if there is a mass purchase. They have been asked to report bulk purchase of smaller items like ear-rings, nose rings, pendants and even small-denomination gold coins.

District-level vigilance committees have been formed to keep an eye on gifts that are offered by jewellery showrooms. Officials feel that politicians, in collusion with jewellers, might distribute freebies like wall clocks, TV sets, sarees and other materials and pass them off as gifts for the gold purchase.

GENUINE BUYERS NEED NOT WORRY

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According to B.N. Giriyannanavar, Joint Commissioner (Enforcement) Commercial Tax Department, they are keeping a close watch on gold and jewellery purchases. “We’ve had meetings with commercial tax sleuths who are keeping a tab on jewellery purchases through various modes. For all purchases beyond Rs. 50,000, buyers need to produce copies of either Aadhaar Card or PAN Card. Any abnormal transaction, including bulk purchase of a particular item, will be questioned. However, people needn’t worry about buying gold or silver for Akshaya Tritiya as long as the transactions are genuine,” he added.

Speaking to Star of Mysore, C.S. Amarnath, President of Shroff Merchants Association said that business will be hit due to excessive monitoring by the Election Officials. “Many jewellers have announced various discounts and special offers on their gold, silver and diamond items. Unlike previous years, even advance booking has taken a hit with only 50 percent booking,” he said.

“The limit on cash transactions due to the code of conduct is worrisome for some customers who want to make cash purchases. There is a wrong feeling among buyers that all purchases will be under watch. Despite all these factors, we hope for business as usual on  Akshaya Tritiya Day.”

April 17, 2018

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