Jewellers’ strike continues; no progress in talks
The strike by bullion traders and jewellers continued for the 7th day on Tuesday to protest the Budget proposal to impose one per cent excise duty on jewellery, despite the Centre's assurance that it would look into the issue.
All India Sarafa Association Vice-President Surinder Kumar Jain said the strike will go on for an indefinite period until the government rolls back the proposal. Most jewellery houses are closed since the Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget proposal on February 29 levied 1 per cent excise duty on jewellery.
Striking associations in different part of the country have collectively decided to go for a complete closure of bullion markets in major as well as small towns and staged 'dharnas'. Jewellers across the country have also been protesting against mandatory quoting of PAN by customers for transaction of Rs 2 lakh and above.
Traders have warned imposition of excise duty may lead to heavy paper work for small jewellers. The industry is estimated to have incurred a business loss to the tune of Rs 10,000 crore during the strike.
Jaitley 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.