Indian Tax Solution

Jewellers back to business after 21-day strike
New Delhi, Apr 7 (PTI) Bullion traders and jewellers today returned to business,

suspending three-week long strike following the government's assurance that it

will consider their demand for rollback of excise duty on non-branded jewellery

and hike in import duty on gold. Various bullion trade associations called off

the 21-day strike after meeting UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Finance

Minister Pranab Mukherjee yesterday who assured them that their demand for

rollback of excise duty on non-branded jewellery would be considered. "Most of

the jewellery shops in the country have opened this morning as some of the 154

jewellery associations in the country decided to resume business," All India

Sarafa Association president Sheel Chand Jain told PTI. He said agitating

jewellers and bullion traders would have first transaction of the financial year

2012-13 today. Traders are estimated to have lost Rs 20,000 crore due to the

strike, while the government lost nearly Rs 1,200 crore in revenues on account

of import duty. Jewellers, however, have threatened that strike would resume if

the proposal to levy excise duty of one per cent is not withdrawn in the Finance

Bill, which is expected to come up before Parliament early next month. "The

strike has been suspended till May 11, as the Finance Minister has assured us on

a decision on rollback on excise duty and customs duty by first week of May,"

Jain said. The strike from March 17 followed the Budget proposals a day earlier

to double gold import duty to 4 per cent and levy of 1 per cent excise duty on

non-branded jewellery. A leading Delhi-based jeweller having shops in different

parts of north India, P P Jewellers director Pawan Gupta said "We have opened

all our showrooms and appreciate government understanding our concerns on tax

hikes."

PTI

Source: http://ibnlive.in.com

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