Karnataka is considering a staggered rollout of its own gold jewellery showrooms across the state, according to Mines and Geology Minister Murugesh R. Nirani. He mentioned that the retail outlets would be opened in Tier-1 cities first, and then in Tier-2 cities based on customer response.
Karnataka intends to open gold jewellery retail outlets and sell under its own brand. In collaboration with private jewellers, the government plans to sell gold coins bearing the official state emblem. Karnataka is India's only state to produce gold from its mines.
He said the state emblem 'Gandabherunda' (a two-headed bird from Hindu mythology believed to possess tremendous magical strength and also the royal insignia of the erstwhile Mysore kingdom) will be embossed on gold coins and bars.
Gold bars and coins will also be available in retail outlets, according to Nirani. "Our gold showrooms will be similar to the state-run Mysore Silks and Mysore Sandalwood Soaps, which have a large presence and a good reputation," he said.
"We are exploring the possibilities of opening jewellery retail outlets by tying up with private jewellers. The state will produce jewellery and operate shops with the participation of private entities," he told reporters after a meeting with jewellery designers and jewellers' associations here at Vikasa Soudha.
"The idea of selling gold coins with this emblem is aimed at attracting more customers since the yellow metal is produced by the state, its purity is guaranteed and there is no question of pilferage as is done by some private jewellers," he added.
For the overall development of this backward region, the government is also planning to create a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) exclusively for jewellery in the Kalyana Karnataka region.
Hutti Gold Mines Ltd will be renamed Karnataka State (Hutti) Gold Mines Ltd by the government. In the mines, gold output will be increased from 1700 kg to 5000 kg.