Govt tells jewellers to clear excise dues with June payment
The Government on Saturday asked the jewellers to settle the excise dues for March-May along with that of June and get themselves registered with the central excise department by July 1. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had in Budget on February 29 imposed 1 per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery which led to widespread protests by jewellers. The agitation, however, was temporarily called off on April 13 following assurances from the government that there will be no harassment by tax officials. “Assessee jewellers may make payment of excise duty for months of March, April and May 2016, along with payment of excise duty for June 2016,” the Finance Ministry said.
The Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) has also extended the time limit for taking central excise registration of an establishment by a jeweller up to July 1, 2016. The jewellers, CBEC said, are liable to pay excise duty with effect from March 1, 2016. The government has, meanwhile, set up a committee under former Chief Economic Advisor Ashok Lahiri to look into demand of agitating jewellers and also into their grievances with regard to compliance and operating procedures for payment of excise duty.
The other members of the Committee include legal expert Rohan Shah, Commerce Ministry Joint Secretary Manoj Kumar Dwivedi, CBEC Joint Secretary in Tax Research Unit Alok Shukla and Gautam Ray. Representatives from the trade will be shortly appointed to the panel.
The CBEC has also asked all associations or trade and industry to submit their representations before the committee by emailing to ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’. The gems and jewellery industry is estimated to have incurred over Rs 1 lakh crore loss due to the 42-day strike beginning March 2. Jewellers have also been protesting against the mandatory quoting of PAN by customers for transactions of Rs 2 lakh and above.
Meanwhile, gold prices fell by Rs 225 to Rs 29,575 per 10 grams at the bullion market on Saturday, tracking a weak trend overseas amid subdued demand from jewellers at domestic spot market. Silver followed suit and dropped by Rs 150 to Rs 40,200 per kg due to reduced offtake by industrial units and coin makers.
Marketmen said sentiment remained bearish largely in step with a weak global trend and an easing demand from jewellers and retailers at current levels at the domestic spot markets. Globally, gold fell by 1.27 per cent to $1,232.20 an ounce and silver by 0.09 per cent to USD 16.96 an ounce in New York in Friday’s trade.
In the national capital, gold of 99.9 and 99.5 per cent purity plunged by Rs 225 each to Rs 29,575 and Rs 29,425 per ten grams, respectively. The precious metal had lost Rs 100 on Friday. Sovereign, however, remained steady at Rs 23,200 per piece of eight grams.