Finally, the 18-day long strike by jewellers has ended after an assurance by the Government that there will be no harassment by excise officials and no inspector raj. The strike has incurred an estimated loss of Rs 60,000-70,000 crore to the industry.
Jewellers from the world’s second-biggest gold consumer went on an indefinite strike from the start of March after government reintroduced a 1-percent excise duty on gold jewellery after four years.
However, the excise duty has not been rolled but the grievances of the jewellers have been taken care of. Jewellers were also opposed to the mandatory quoting of PAN by customers for transactions of Rs 2 lakh and above.
The decision was taken unanimously by major jewellery associations, including GJF, India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA) and Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, after they met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley regarding the 1 per cent excise duty proposed on jewellery in the Budget.
Meanwhile, a three-member committee has been set up to look into issues of jewellers and it would submit a report to the government within two months. A three-member committee, headed by Economist and former Chief Economic Adviser at the Ministry of Finance and Company Affairs Ashok Lahiri, has been constituted to look into the issues related to Excise duty of the jewellers association and trade bodies and to evolve at a solution.