Chandigarh, February 10– Jewellery shops owing allegiance to Jeweller’s Association of Chandigarh observed a day’s token strike on February 10 in Chandigarh in protest against the government rule making PAN card proof mandatory on gold purchases of Rs.2 lakhs and above.
The strike was observed on a call given by All India Gems and JewelleryTrade Federation (GJF). The jewellers from all over the country observed the strike.
“We strongly oppose this regulatory measure which has badly hit millions of jewellers and artisans in this industry, Mr. Vinod Talwar president of Jeweller’s Association of Chandigarh told the media in Chandigarh today.
Mr. Talwar told reporters that the new norm which came into effect from January 1, had already resulted in 30 per cent loss in their business with expected job loss.
He said the PAN card rule has discouraged majority of semi-urban and rural jewellery buyers, who are engaged either in farming with no income tax obligation or in small trade practices.
“With just 22.3 crore PAN cards issued in India, how can the industry survive with such restrictions?” Talwar asked.
“To begin with, we have held a token strike today and all the traders kept their shops shut. We want the government to hear our views. If not, we will further intensify our protest after the budget session,” he said.
The slowdown has affected jobs of millions of workers, artisans and small traders.
Mr. Akhil Jain, said, adding that the jewellers were losing customers mainly in small towns and rural areas where a majority of population don’t have PAN cards.
Making an appeal to the union finance ministry, Mohinder Kumar, General Secretary of the Association urged it to make PAN card mandatory on jewellery purchases of over Rs.10 lakhs instead of the present Rs.2 lakh.