Jewellers in India have gone on a strike despite incurring heavy losses. A latest estimate suggests all jewellery shop owners in India combined could be losing over Rs 15 crore per day according to the All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation.
The shutdown – which has entered its second week – is in protest of a tax of 1 per cent proposed in Budget 2016 by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on purchases that cost above Rs 2 lakh.
In Mumbai’s Zaveri Bazaar, India’s biggest gold market, protesters gathered in large numbers on Wednesday wearing white cloth caps with the words ‘Roll-back Excise’ written in Hindi and English.
“Shops will remain closed until the government assures jewellers that the 1 per cent duty will be withdrawn,” said Director All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation, Bachhraj Bamalwa was quoted by news agencies as saying.
The All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation represents 300,000 jewellers and bullion dealers across India.
The strike means jewellers are missing out on higher gold prices, which have rallied 19% this year as demand for haven assets surges amid volatility in financial markets.