No sign of end to jewellers’ strike over excise duty

They have been on strike since March 2 to demanding a rollback of 1 per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: April 6, 2016 4:10 pm
Jewellers Strike, Excise duty strike, Jewellery Excise duty strike, Jewellers protest, excise duty protest, jewellery excise duty protest, Rahul Gandhi, Narendra Modi, Delhi news, India news The protesting jewellers who are demanding withdrawal of excise duty on jewellery.on Wednesday in New Delhi. (Express Photo By Amit Mehra)

Jewellers, bullion traders and artisans in several parts of the country continued their indefinite strike on Wednesday demanding rollback of 1 per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery.

They have been on strike since March 2 to protest against the proposal.

Most jewellery shops in the country, including in Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai wore a deserted look for the 36th day.

However, jewellery showrooms in Tamil Nadu were open for regular trading.

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The Centre has already constituted a panel under former chief economic advisor Ashok Lahiri to look into the demands of jewellers.

Meanwhile, Congress President Rahul Gandhi on Wednesday dubbed the one per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery items as an “assassination attempt” on traders by the BJP government and alleged it was being done to benefit big industrialists.

Gandhi, who was addressing a rally of the All India Bullion Jeweller and Swarnakar Federation at Jantar Mantar here, once again ridiculed the Centre’s ‘Make in India’ initiative with a reference to its logo, saying it was a “babbar sher” that wants to “strangulate” small businesses.

“This is not an excise duty on you. This is an assassination attempt on you. You are being killed…. But why are you being killed? Who will benefit from this?

“First and foremost big industrialists will benefit and secondly those people will gain who will extract money from your profit through pressure and blackmail,” he said.

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  1. N
    Neelam Soni
    Apr 6, 2016 at 10:42 pm
    It's a huge loss for artisans, decision should b made quickly in favor of jewelers..
    1. V
      Apr 7, 2016 at 7:37 am
      Gold is a burden on Indian Economy. while all other manufastured goods are levied Excise duty than why not Gold. Infact This protest is not against Excise duty but bcas more than 90 % of this business jewellery is done with black money involved. So Jewellers will be Exposed if Excise duty is Imposed as they have to declare all ornaments made to be declared to pay excise dept. Now there is no Check even if some jewellers are selling whatever qty they want in Black money Transactions.
      1. I
        Apr 9, 2016 at 5:19 am
        If a bunch of traders can afford to keep their shop closed for 5 weeks ..... imagine how much profit they were making. the 1% would anyways be paid by the customers, the shops will not pay from their pocket. The real issue seems to be that majority of transactions are not in the white books, and they are apprehensive that the new tax will open up their black books. Govt should simply cancel their licenses citing this unprecedented strike, and issue new licenses including foreign investors - who always maintain all-white books.
        1. T
          Apr 7, 2016 at 3:16 pm
          This is a step in right direction, excise should be applied, these people are doing 90% illegal black money business that is the real concern they have. middle cl ried people are dying with taxes and black money businesses are looting the country. This is the right step, all the transactions should also be mandatory to be shown as no.1 bills.
          1. M
            Apr 10, 2016 at 3:42 pm
            somewhere I feel that our country is now goin in a good direction... this excise duty should have been imposed long ago. but ' better late dan never '. Government should not entertain their strike nd cancel their license!!!
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