Wednesday, July 17th 11:04 AM IST

India needs to address dowry system to tame Gold

# India gold reserves  # import tariff value  # gold imports  # dowry  

Analysts said the finance minister should address the issue of dowry system seriously as majority of the gold purchased by Indians goes as part of the dowry.

NEW DELHI(BullionStreet): Yet another appeal by India's finance minister Palaniappan Chidmabaram to cut down gold's usage will surely not to make any impact on gold crazy Indians, analysts said.

Apart from the investment side, gold in India is an integral part of country's culture, especially linked with marriages and the dreaded dowry system it holds for which gold is the major item.

For centuries Indian marriages have been sealed with gold. During each wedding season, countless brides are given away wearing elaborate sets of golden jewellery.

Analysts said the finance minister should address the issue of dowry system seriously as majority of the gold purchased by Indians goes as part of the dowry.

However it is not an easy task as gold has been an integral part of the dowry system, which was outlawed 50 years ago, but still widely practiced across the country.

In rural India some families start amassing gold as soon as a daughter is born in preparation for her eventual nuptials. In urban India, gold is used to flaunt family wealth and signify social status.

It is the dowry system that supports the gold mainly now in India despite that fact that country's modernization has helped create a wealth of alternative dowry options for the country's rapidly expanding middle class, analysts added.

Another way to cut-down India's gold imports and usage is to develop an easy method to utilise the huge chunk of gold laid idle among Indian households.

Indians holds the largest gold hoards though no one knows exactly how much gold has been passed from generation to generation.

Analysts estimated that at least 15,000 tons of gold worth nearly $600 billion are with Indian families.

As long as marriage traditions, for which gold is an integral part, remained strong in India, no measures will be enough to cut down the appetite for the yellow metal

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