Gold traders and jewellers continued their strike for the 17th day today, in protest against the proposed one per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery, PTI reports. Most jewellery shops and establishments in the country are shut after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley announced this in the Budget.
Members of over 358 associations, consisting of over three lakh manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers and artisans related to the trade are on strike since March 2. To intensify the agitation, All India Bullion Jewellers & Swarnkar Action Committee (AIBJS) organised a mega rally at Ramlila Maidan here yesterday which witnessed huge participation from jewellers, bullion traders and artisans.
Surinder Kumar Jain, Vice-President, All India Sarafa Association said in view of the ongoing indefinite strike, customers would face difficulties with the wedding season approaching. On the other hand, Jaitley has rejected the demand for rolling back the levy, saying the move is in preparation for unveiling of Goods and Services Tax (GST).
The finance ministry has however clarified that jewellers only with turnover of more than Rs 12 crore will be liable to pay one per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery items.