No breakthrough for jewellers, strike continues

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New Delhi, Apr 5: The strike against one per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery continued for another day despite huge losses to the industry traders. Jewellers and bullion traders in several parts of the country, including in Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata kept shutters down for the 35th day on Tuesday, April 5.

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Vice-President of the All India Sarafa Association, Surinder Kumar Jain said the industry has been losing business due to ongoing indefinite strike, and workers including artisans involved in the trade have the "crisis of bread and butter now."

jewellers protest

"Manufacturers and dealers of gold jewellery are agitated against the government's move," Jain added. Tamil Nadu, however, struck a contrarian note, where most jewellery showrooms were open for regular trading.

Meanwhile, jewellery manufacturers are likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi to demand rollback of the budgetary proposal. "We have a meeting with the Prime Minister on Wednesday. The time is yet to be finalised," said Rahul Gupta, CEO of PP Jewellers. Gupta is also the Vice-Chairman of Export Promotion Council for EoUs and SEZs.

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

The sub-committee, which has been asked to submit its report in 60 days, will look into issues related to the compliance procedure for the excise duty, including records to be maintained, forms to be filled, operating procedures and other relevant aspects.

The government, in the Budget for 2016-17, had proposed one per cent excise duty on jewellery without input credit or 12.5 per cent with input tax credit on jewellery excluding silver other than those studded with diamonds and precious stones.

PTI 

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