Jewellers’ Strike Over Excise Duty Enters Day 28


New Delhi: A large number of gold traders and jewellers continued their strike for the 28th day on Tuesday in protest against a proposed one per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery.

Most jewellery shops and establishments in the country were shut since March 2 after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced one per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery.

However, most of the jewellery showrooms in Tamil Nadu were open for regular trading.

Customers would face difficulties during the fast approaching wedding season in the absence of ready stocks as the strike continues, All India Sarafa Association vice president Surinder Kumar Jain said.

Artisans related to the trade are also on strike and almost 100 per cent of jewellery items are hand crafted by them, Mr Jain told PTI.

Jewellery sales are likely to fall by 40-50 tonnes in the January-March period due to the ongoing strike, according to domestic rating agency Icra. (Read more)

Meanwhile, the government has constituted a panel under former Chief Economic Advisor Ashok Lahri to look into the jewellers’ demands.

The panel, which has been asked to submit its report in 60 days, will look into issues related to compliance procedure for the excise duty, including records to be maintained, forms to be filled and operating procedures.

The government in the Budget for 2016-17 had proposed one 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.