Bridal Budgets Hit by Rising Gold Prices

Bridal Budgets Hit by Rising Gold PricesIndia's wedding season being in full swing, the sales counters in Mumbai's famous Zhaveri gold bazaars are packed with customers looking for elaborate bangles, headpieces, nose rings and necklaces. No one can match the gold wears quite like an Indian bride, who traditionally wears all the gold she can stand up in and her family can pay for.

These days though, even the most ambitious bridal budgets cannot bare the expense like they used to, thanks to hikes in import duties and a rise in local gold prices. However, more gold-buying, is exactly what the Indian government is trying to stop by raising import duties three times this year to 10 percent on gold bullion in January and 15 percent on gold jewellery.

After oil, gold is India's second-biggest import, and purchases have soared in recent years as rising incomes from a decade of economic growth sent Indian consumers on a buying spree.

The problem arose when the greater buying of the precious metal dealt a blow to India's economy by increasing the flow of money out of country as compared to inflows. As a result, the current account deficit rose to a historic high of 4.8 percent of India's gross domestic product in the fiscal year which ended in March.