Bullion traders and jewellers yesterday joined the ongoing stir and downed shutters for three days to protest against the Budget proposal to impose 1% excise duty on jewellery.
All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF), with co-ordination and recommendation from All India Jewellery Associations had announced that jewellers including manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers will go for three day closure of their business to protest against the Government’s proposals of imposing one per cent excise duty in jewellery sector.
G V Sreedhar GJF Chairman, said, “We are compelled to take the decision of going for three days All India ‘Bandh’ of jewellery trade and manufacturing to protest against the excise duty which is damaging to the growth of industry. The proposed excise duty of 1% without input credit or 12.5% excise with input credit will create huge liabilities for small manufacturers, who employ unskilled day-to-day labour at large, the very people the government wishes to exempt. Excise was introduced and withdrawn in 2005 & 2012 when UPA Government realized it was impractical to impose Excise on a very large unorganized sector”.
Ashok Minawala, Past Chairman of GJF, said, “The Government has totally ignored our pre-budget representations and the nature of the industry and today we are left with no options but to go for 72 hours tokenstrike. An average amount of Rs. 5000 crores worth of business will be lost by the industry, while the Govt. will lose revenue of 500 crores. Pan India all retail jewelers, manufacturers and wholesalers have decided to join thestrike expressing their anguish over the government apathy towards the industry which had earlier declared it as a thrust area for job creation of 1 lakh people PA through Make in India initiative. With such policies, the industry will not survive.”
The government sought to impose an excise duty of 1% without input tax credit or 12% with input tax credit on articles of jewellery excluding silver other than studded with diamond or some other precious stone with a higher exemption and eligibility limit of Rs 6 crore and Rs 12 crore, respectively.