New Delhi: Indian villagers and traders of the village of Thala, about 15km north of the capital, have started trading in gold, silver and copper in a bid to reduce their dependence on imports.
Villagers in Thala have been trading in the metal for about 15 years, but the gold and other metals used in their daily lives are not cheap.
“We have been making our living by selling and trading for years, and now we are ready to get into the gold market,” said Gita Singh, a farmer.
She said she would sell gold at around ₹2,000 per ounce and silver at ₳1,000, but would not take it home with her because she does not trust her family’s land.
“People are worried about gold and the price will go up,” said Singh, who started trading gold and metals at the age of 15.
She started trading on December 3, after the local district administration asked villagers to get an electronic registration card to trade.
She is now the third person to get the card.
The district administration, which has also asked villagers for the card, said the village will have to buy more land and the card will be made available for free to villagers who want to buy gold.
In the last three years, the government has allowed villagers to buy their own land, but has not given villagers the option to trade for gold and copper.
“There are a lot of people in this area who can not sell their gold and precious metals,” said Ram Kumar Singh, deputy commissioner of Thalaghat, a village in the district.
“They are also not able to trade with us for a long time.”
He said villagers could buy a limited number of gold coins, silver bars and coins and then sell them at a discount to earn income.
But this will not be possible until the village becomes a gold hub, he said.
“The village is already at the stage where the villagers have been able to purchase gold from the government,” he said, adding that this was a key reason why villagers were willing to trade their own gold for gold.
“I hope that the villagers will be able to buy enough gold to support their families,” he added.