Gold jewellery business is expected to grow by up to 30 per cent during Akshaya Tritiya, a festival considered auspicious for buying the metal, against the year-ago period on increased consumer confidence, a market expert said here on Monday.

“We are hoping that Akshaya Tritiya, to be celebrated on May 16, will increase gold jewellery business by 25-30 per cent compared to the previous year,” All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) Director Sumesh Wadhera said.

He said, while gold prices have more or less stabilised at Rs. 16,500-17,000 per ten grams, the consumer confidence to buy jewellery has also improved.

Gold was on Monday trading at Rs. 16,463 per ten grams on the futures market, while it was at Rs. 16,745 per ten grams on the spot market in Delhi. In the international market, the precious metal stood at USD 1,103.80 an ounce (28.34 grams).

Mr. Wadhera said, the rise in customs duty is just Rs. 100 per 10 grams and will not have much impact on domestic demand.

The government had raised customs duty on gold and platinum to Rs 300 per ten grams from Rs 200 per ten grams in the Union Budget 2010-11.

He said the overall Indian jewellery market is likely to grow by 10-12 per cent, while in the southern region, growth is expected to rise by up to 25 per cent.

Eight-ten per cent growth in gold jewellery business is expected for the south Indian region, while 18-20 per cent for branded and diamond jewellery, Mr. Wadhera added.

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