Bullion traders keep shops shut for 2nd day

Gold and jewellery establishments in many parts of the country remained closed on Thursday for the second day as traders protested against a budgetary proposal to levy 1 per cent excise duty on jewellery. Traders in metros too downed their shutters for the second consecutive day, All-India Sarafa Association Vice-President Surinder Kumar Jain said. "The budgetary proposal levying one per cent excise duty on jewellery would affect business and wipe off the existence of nearly 90 per cent of small jewellers in the country," he reasoned.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget for 2016-17 had proposed 1 per cent excise duty on jewellery without input credit or 12.5 per cent with input tax credit on jewellery excluding silver other than studded with diamonds and some other precious stones.

"Nearly 6,000 shops and establishments in the national capital alone are closed for the second day," Jain said. Meanwhile, jewellers and goldsmiths in Jaipur, Lucknow, Chandigarh and Jammu also kept their shutters down today to join the nation-wide protest.

Jain said that in 2012, the UPA government had also proposed levying a 1 per cent excise duty on unbranded jewellery, but had to discard the plan later. Bullion traders and jewellers have called a three-day nation-wide strike to lodge their protest against the proposed levy.


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