TN, Puducherry jewellers plan to resume strike on March 28

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Chennai, Mar 27: Stepping up pressure on the Centre over the excise duty levy issue, jewellers in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry, who had called off their strike recently, are gearing themselves to resume the indefinite stir by joining other associations on Monday, March 28.

The gold traders in the region withdrew the strike last week after the assurance by the government and formation of a committee to look into the issue and find a solution.

gold

While the jewellers in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry withdrew their stir, majority of associations across the country, continued to protest, seeking immediate rollback of the one per cent excise duty levy proposed by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Budget for 2016-17.

"The Centre had assured to look into our demands and had formed a committee. But some of our members seek immediate rollback of one per cent excise duty levy and are continuing the strike.

"So, we are planning to join by Monday (March 28)," Madras Jewellers and Diamond Merchants' Association President, Jayanthilal Challani told PTI here.

"Almost 90 per cent of the jewellers are still in protest. Only 10 per cent comprising Tamil Nadu and other regions withdrew the strike. Now, we are planning to join strike by Monday."

Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are home to about 36,000 showrooms and the jewellery sector in these two places has about eight to 10 lakh employees.

Challani had earlier said business worth Rs 6,300 crore was affected in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry during the earlier strike that went on for 18 days.

Jewellers also opposed the Centre's mandatory quoting of PAN by customers for transactions of Rs 2 lakh and above.

The government had set up a three-member committee, headed by former Chief Economic Adviser at the Ministry of Finance and Company Affairs Ashok Lahiri, to look into the issues and find a solution.

PTI

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