Jewellers’ strike against 1% excise duty enters 21st day

The strike by a large number of jewellers and bullion traders continued for the 21st day today to protest against the Budget proposal to impose 1 per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery, despite the government constituting a panel to look into their demand.

Most of the jewellers who had reopened their showrooms in confusion yesterday, kept shutters down today at Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazar and several other places, demanding rollback of the proposal.

Bullion markets in Chennai, however, remained open for regular trading.

All India Sarafa Association Vice-President Surinder Kumar Jain said the ongoing strike will go on indefinitely till the government rolls back the proposal.

“We will stick to our demand of rolling back of proposed excise duty completely”, Jain said.

Jewellery houses are closed since March 2 after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in his Budget speech on February 29, proposed levying 1 per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery.

“Jewellers will not end their strike till the government withdraws the proposal,” said Hukum Chand Soni, President, M P Sarafa Association.

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