Jewellers back on strike, shops shut for 3 days
Most of the shops and jewellery showrooms in the national Capital and other major cities were closed on Monday, said vice-president of the All-India Sarafa Association, Surinder Kumar Jain.
Striking associations in different parts of the country have collectively decided to go for a complete closure of bullion markets for three days in major as well as small towns, Jain said.
Jewellers and artisans staged a dharna at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi, extending support to the strike call given by different associations in the country.
Jewellery shops in several parts of Rajasthan including Jaipur, Jodhpur and Kota and nearly 3,000 jewellery establishments in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh are also closed.
Major associations such as All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) and India Bullion and Jewellers Associations, however, are not supporting the strike.
“We are already in negotiations with the government and there is a positive outcome. The government has already issued three circulars and will soon come up with a notification over the simplification of implementation of excise duty on non-silver jewellery,” said Ashok Minawala, Director (GJF).
Kanpur Sarafa Association has threatened to go on an indefinite strike again if their demands are not fulfilled.
“If our demands not fulfilled, we will be forced to go for an indefinite strike,” said Mohan Aggarwal of the association. Jewellers had temporarily called off their 42-day strike on April 13 for 12 days, after the government’s assurance that there would be no harassment by excise officials.
The Centre has constituted a panel under former Chief Economic Advisor Ashok Lahri to look into the demands of the jewellers. The panel will look into issues related to compliance procedure for the excise duty, including records to be maintained, forms be filled, operating procedures and other relevant issues.