The Karachi gold market remained closed for a sixth day due to a government crackdown on illegal trading activities, with unofficial transactions occurring at skyrocketing prices, according to The News on Wednesday. Following a sudden 2.7% price increase to Rs215,000 per tola, officials arrested several individuals suspected of price manipulation through artificial demand and supply gaps.
Gold prices in Lahore and Peshawar soared to Rs222,000 and Rs230,200 per tola, respectively, considerably above the official rates. Haroon Rasheed Chand, the All Pakistan Gems and Jewellers Association (APGJA) president, warned of serious repercussions for individuals participating in unauthorized trades and highlighted potential legal actions by enforcement agencies.
The government has assembled a task force to aggressively tackle gold mafia and smugglers manipulating prices and evading taxes, aiming to digitize gold sales and incorporate dealers into the tax bracket. Chand confirmed that discussions between industry figures and enforcement agencies are underway to address the issue, emphasizing his commitment to industry transparency and suggesting trades be conducted solely in the domestic currency.
With the reopening of the gold market still unclear, stakeholders and investors vigilantly observe the unfolding events, highlighting the critical role of regulatory oversight in maintaining the market’s integrity and influence on Pakistan’s financial sector.