During past three days, the strike by Jewellers across the country has affected the turnover of over 20000 crores of Jewellary trade, this was stated by Vinod Talwar, the president of Jeweller’s Association of Chandigarh, while addressing a press conference at Chandigarh on Saturday.
The jewellers across the country are on strike to oppose the imposition of one percent excise duty announced in this week’s budget.
Vinod Talwar said that jewellery stores, shut since Wednesday, will close for another three days on a call given by the All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation.
Vinod Talwar said that a similar shutdown in 2012, when jewellers closed for three weeks, was successful in getting the previous government to drop plans for an excise duty.
Rajiv Sehdev, President of Chandigarh Jewellers Association said that the jewellers strongly feel that the duty will harm local manufacturers by increasing their costs and compliance burden, even as purchases slow due to a surge in the price of gold and pressure on incomes in rural India, a significant source of demand.
The jewellers said the strike would continue until the government either withdraws the tax or gives its assurance that it will be removed.
“There is no rationale for imposing the excise tax after they withdrew it in 2012,” said Vinod Talwar adding. “Earlier we were protesting against the import tax as it was boosting smuggling, and now we have this tax to worry about.”
Vinod Talwar said that the jewellers have been opposing the Tax Collection at Source (TCS) on cash sale of bullion and jewellery. Besides, the government had imposed the new rule regarding PAN card and the system of UID on each item. “We are demanding that the government roll back the excise duty,” he said.
Gold represents luck and is an important gift for brides. Indians also keep gold ornaments for rainy days.
The strike could curb gold imports by the world’s second biggest consumer and put pressure on global prices.
“Jewellery sales have already been falling due to higher prices. In such a situation the government has raised the burden of excise duty,” Rajiv Sehdev said.
Representatives of all the jeweller’s association from Tricity were present on the occasion.