Jewellers extend strike till March 7; shops shut for 4th day


NEW DELHI: Jewellers continued their strike for the fourth consecutive day and will go on with it till March 7 against the budgetary proposal to re-impose 1 per cent excise duty on jewellery despite the government’s assurance that it will look into the issue.

All India Sarafa Association and All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation have decided to extend their stir till March 7.

Jewellers have been on a strike since March 2 protesting against the proposed excise duty imposition on non-silver jewellery items made in the Budget 2016-17 as well mandatory quoting of PAN by customers for transaction of Rs 2 lakh and above.

Jewellers yesterday called on Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, who promised to look into the matter.

“Keeping in view small jewellers and industry’s interest, we have decided to extend strike for three more days,” All India Sarafa Association Vice-President Surinder Kumar Jain told PTI.

Finance Minister 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.

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry has clarified that only jewellers with turnover of more than Rs 12 crore will be liable to pay 1 per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery items.

Traders in several parts of the country, including the metros, kept their shops closed for the fourth day, Jain added.