No sign of end to jewellers’ strike over excise duty

Wednesday, Apr 6, 2016,15:46 IST By Metrovaartha A A A

New Delhi | Jewellers, bullion traders and artisans in several parts of the country continued their indefinite strike today demanding rollback of 1 per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery.

They have been on strike since March 2 to protest against the proposal. Most jewellery shops in the country, including in Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai wore a deserted look for the 36th day. However, jewellery showrooms in Tamil Nadu were open for regular trading.

The Centre has already constituted a panel under former chief economic advisor Ashok Lahiri to look into the demands of jewellers. Meanwhile, Congress President Rahul Gandhi today dubbed the one per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery items as an assassination attempt on traders by the BJP government and alleged it was being done to benefit big industrialists.

Gandhi, who was addressing a rally of the All India Bullion Jeweller and Swarnakar Federation at Jantar Mantar here, once again ridiculed the Centre’s ‘Make in India’ initiative with a reference to its logo, saying it was a babbar sher that wants to strangulate small businesses. This is not an excise duty on you.This is an assassination attempt on you. You are being killed…. But why are you being killed? Who will benefit from this? First and foremost big industrialists will benefit and secondly those people will gain who will extract money from your profit through pressure and blackmail, he said.