From meeting hospitalisation expenses to paying hefty electricity bills, Pakistanis are increasingly selling their gold jewellery to tide over inflation in Pakistan.

This trend has been fueled by mounting expenses, such as expensive food products, rising petroleum prices, education fees, medical expenses, and house rents, in the face of low income. According to multiple sources in the jewellers’ association, there has been an upsurge in the number of people selling off gold as compared to buyers, in recent months.

Several social media posts indicated that people were compelled to sell their gold in order to pay for their electricity bills after the government imposed hefty Fuel Cost Adjustment (FCA) charges in monthly electricity bills.

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The FCA was added to the electricity bills for the month of August, drawing protests from citizens who demanded the government immediately withdraw the FCA as it was an injustice to the consumers and they did not have the capacity to pay outrageous electricity bills.

The Current contacted several jewellers in Lahore to uncover whether people were actually selling gold to pay their electricity bills.

According to the owner of a renowned gold shop in Liberty Lahore, when inflation is high, people’s only alternative is to sell any gold they may have. “There are undoubtedly more sellers because gold prices have reached an all-time high at this time. Comparatively, there are noticeably more sellers than purchasers. Another reason for selling gold is to combat inflation.”

When asked if locals were really selling gold to pay their power bills, the goldsmith responded, “People sell gold for many different purposes outside merely paying their electricity bills. A lot of people sell their gold in order to invest in more lucrative assets, this may not necessarily be about bills. A number of individuals sell gold in order to invest in real estate or build their own houses.”

Owing to overall inflation, gold prices had hit an all-time high, but since last week, they have been steadily declining. The latest drop in gold prices also prompted people to sell their gold as it was the ideal time to get the best price and acquire other assets, as they could later buy gold at a lower price after its price is stabilised.

The majority of gold jewellers in the vicinity of Lahore’s posh area asserted that this unquestionably occurs at a time when the country’s economy is unstable and consumers are left with no choice but to sell the assets they have been saving for years to utilise in crises.

Another jewellery store owner in Lahore’s less well-off area admitted that “This happens,” but added that “Not everyone is willing to discuss their personal and financial concerns or reveal causes why they are selling gold and what they need money for. People visit our shops for reasons other than just paying their electricity bills, such as emergencies or the urgent need for cash to cover healthcare expenses.”

Investors frequently turn to gold as a safe haven when the economy is struggling or when there are conflicts on an international scale. For investors looking for a safe investment with a proven track record of profitability, gold appears to be an attractive alternative in light of rising inflation and the stock market trading far below its highs.