Stepping up pressure on the Centre to rollback the 1 per cent excise duty on jewellery, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has written letters to all Chief Ministers requesting them to write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
A few days ago, Kejriwal, who is rallying in support of jewellers, had himself written to Modi after the agitating met him and sought his support. “The Delhi government is strongly opposed to this (1 per cent excise) and has requested the Prime Minister to roll it back” Kejriwal wrote to the Chief Ministers, adding that it had given rise to an “atmosphere of terror” among jewellers.
In his letter to the Prime Minister on March 17, Kejriwal had expressed fear that the “first time” levy would lead to excise inspectors creating problems for jewellers, a “peace-loving and law-abiding” community.
“The government would not get any revenue by hiking 1 per cent excise duty. All the money would be sacrificed on the altar of corruption,” he wrote in his letter, adding that “this would increase problems for jewellers. In spite of doing their work, the jewellers would be busy making new account registers for the excise department and the government will have to spend more money compared with the money collected from the hiked excise duty.”
Jewellers across the country have been agitating since Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced the excise levy on jewellery articles in the Union Budget for 2016-17 on February 29.