KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): Jewelers in southern Kandahar province say their business has recently declined by 50 percent as demand for the precious metal waned due to increasing poverty and unemployment.
They say instead of buying gold, people have started selling their jewelries to meet other needs because of economic hardships.
Jawad, a jeweler in Kandahar City, told Pajhwok Afghan News that in the past there were many customers and they would sell gold earrings, bangles and other jewelry almost every day but now they sold nothing in a whole week.
“The gold trade in Kandahar has dropped by 50 percent compared to the past. People are not buying jewels now but selling them because their economic situation has deteriorated and unemployment has risen.”
He said the situation had worried them and damaged their businesses.
Mohammad Reza, another gold seller at the same market, said the gold trade had halved and people were selling gold to them instead of buying it.
He added that every day more and more people came to the shops and sold their jewelry as unemployment had increased and people wanted to meet their other needs.
“In the past after every time Eid-ul-Fitr, there were more weddings and every family would buy gold for their brides, but this year the situation has changed,” he said.
According to him, people now cannot afford to buy gold as they used to and think of meeting their other important needs.
But some goldsmiths say that although the gold business has fallen, it is still profitable.
Ali Ahmad, another gold seller, told Pajhwok Afghan News: “The gold business has fallen, but if we buy or sell it, we have a profit. That’s why there is no a special difference. ”
On the other hand, those who sell their family’s gold say that in the past their life and employment were good but after the change in the country their livelihood has been affected economically and they have been forced to sell their family’s jewelry and meet their other basic needs.
Mohammad Anwar is one of the residents of Kandahar City who came to the jewelry market to sell his house jewelry.
He told Pajhwok Afghan News he wanted to sell two pairs of bangles. “I used to work for a company, I had a good salary,” he added. But then it stopped. I was unemployed for a few months. I don’t have any more money, so I sell my house gold and do business with it. ”
Officials at the Kandahar Jewelers’ Union say that despite the decline in the gold trade, the price has already risen.
Ahmad Shakib, deputy head of the Kandahar Jewelers’ Union, told Pajhwok Afghan News that the recent political upheaval in Afghanistan had worsened the economic situation and affected the gold trade.
He added: “The economic situation has deteriorated and it has affected the gold business as well, but the price of gold has risen over the last three years. In the past, the price of a gram of gold was 3500 or 4000 afghanis but now it is 5500 or 6000 afghanis”.