Jewellery shops open in Tamil Nadu but strike to continue

Chennai, March 18: Jewellery shops in Tamil Nadu have started functioning but there is no internal division within the industry and the indefinite strike against excise duty on products will continue till the government listens, said senior official of a trade association.

"Except in Tamil Nadu, the trade is on strike in other southern states like Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. In south, there are large players," All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) director Ashok Minawala said.


GJF zonal committee member Jayantilal Challani said that the industry in Tamil Nadu is in a different league.

"They are operating in a corporate set up with big showrooms wherethe overheads are high and has to be met," said Challani, who is also president of the Madras Jewellers and Diamond Merchants Association.

He said the industry in north is strongly againt the central government's decision to impose excise duty.

The gems and jewellery industry is on indefinite strike since March 2 in protest against the central government's decision to inpose excise duty.

However both the officials stress that there is no internal division in GJF on the issue of big shops doing business in Tamil Nadu.

Jewellery shops in Tamil Nadu are operating since Thursday afternoon.

According to Minawala, the industry has lost around Rs.20,000 crore of business due to the strike.

"The strike will continue till the government discusses the issue with us and take suitable action. We have made several suggestions on the issue," he said.

Minawala said the strike will affect the exports and also bigger players with chain of showrooms would start feeling the pinch when the supplies dry out.


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