Srinagar, January 17, 2024:The unprecedented surge in gold prices is taking a toll on dealers in Kashmir, with demand plummeting by nearly 95 percent. The cost of gold has witnessed substantial increases in recent months, reaching previously unimaginable levels. In early trade on Tuesday, the price of 24-carat gold rose by Rs 170, with ten grams selling at Rs 63,270.Local gold dealers, integral to Kashmir’s economy, are feeling the impact as customers shy away from purchasing gold due to its exorbitant prices. Bashir Ahmad Rather, President of the All Kashmir Valley Gold Dealers and Workers Union, revealed the staggering decline, stating, “There is a fall of almost 95 percent in the demand for gold currently.”Despite the 24-carat gold selling at a slightly lower rate in Kashmir compared to the national average, the instability in prices has dissuaded people from investing in gold and silver. The economic downturn has created substantial losses for gold dealers, particularly during the winter season, traditionally considered off-season.Noor Mohammad Zargar, a gold dealer, explained how the soaring prices have impacted traditional occasions like engagements and weddings, with many deferring such functions due to the financial strain. The overall decline in purchasing power among consumers has created a ripple effect across various sectors, exacerbating the challenges faced by those dependent on the gold industry.