The World Gold Council feels the Union government should come out with regulations for the online sale of gold and jewellery to protect consumer interest.

Due to the nationwide lockdown to contain the spread of the coronavirus, most leading jewellers have launched attractive online sales to woo customers this Akshaya Tritiya, which falls on Sunday.

Related Stories
Jewellery retailers to take Akshaya Tritiya sales online
The festival falls on April 26

The transformation of the industry from brick and mortar to the digital platform will be good from a policy view, said WGC.

If these digital transactions indeed sustain in due course, it will be a good development for transparency and for monetising gold, but this can happen only with an acceptable regulatory framework to protect consumer interest, it said.

Gold demand restricted

Somasundaram PR, Managing Director, India, World Gold Council, said, “High gold prices, logistical constraints on delivery, uncertainties surrounding wedding schedules, income anxieties and the lockdown in various degrees make it an unusual period that is bound to seriously restrict gold demand.”

Digital platforms like SafeGold and MMTC-PAMP could facilitate the customary token purchases in urban areas, and support the tradition of buying gold on Akshaya Tritiya, but they are unlikely to be a significant alternative to “brick and mortar” sales yet - as they sell allocated gold (means owned by the jeweller) and their supplies too are limited. Large retailers could adopt some innovative ideas to promote online trade with digitally savvy HNIs, said Somasundaram.

He hoped that Akshaya Tritiya will be embraced in millions with a stronger cultural and spiritual affinity, even as material celebrations remain significantly muted.