Kanpur, March 22: A section of jewellers in Uttar Pradesh has decided not to celebrate Holi to protest against imposition of 1 per cent excise duty on jewellery items.
"Around five lakh jewellers from Uttar Pradesh will not celebrate Holi this year including 10,000 from Kanpur", Uttar Pradesh Jewellers Association President Mahesh Chandra Jain claimed. Jewellers and bullion traders have been on strike since March 2 against the budget proposal to impose 1 per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery items.
"Thousands of wholesale and retail markets are closed and traders are continuing their protest", Jain said. The protest will continue on Holi and we have decided to hold demonstration at MLAs and MPs houses so that they raise the issues with the government, he added.
"We are more concerned about employees, daily wages workers and small scale traders. They have the crisis of bread and butter now", Jain said.
"We will not call off our strike till the Centre withdraws 1 per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery," he said. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget for 2016-17 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.