Bowbazar, the city jewellery hub wore a deserted look on Wednesday with all the shops closed to participate in a three day strike to protest against the Centre’s decision to impose one per cent tax on gold and diamond ornaments. The jewellers and the artisans will take part in a relay hunger strike for an indefinite period from Thursday.
Bablu Dey, general secretary of Swarna Shilpa Bachao Committee said that the Centre’s ‘inhuman and arbitrary attitude’ had affected jewellers and buyers throughout the country. He said that there had been a sharp rise in the purchase of diamond ornaments throughout the country and the decision had affected the trend badly. “It is not that everybody is buying costly diamond necklaces, but the trend to buy diamond earrings and rings is badly hit,” he added.
He said already many buyers had been hit after the Centre made PAN card mandatory for any purchase above Rs one lakh. There are many rural buyers who do not have PAN cards and the situation has taken such a turn that jewellers had to ask buyers to show PAN card before showing ornaments to them and are refused if they fail to show one.