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Last Updated : Saturday 7th April, 2012 - 3:03pm
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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Jewellers, however, have threatened that strike would resume if the proposal to levy excise duty of one per cent is not withdrawn in the Finance Bill, which is expected to come up before Parliament early next month.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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