Jewellers who are on strike from March 1 protesting the imposition of a 1 per cent excise duty on them in this year’s Budget are likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday to demand rollback of excise duty.
The Government’s decision to levy 1 per cent excise duty on jewellery had evoked sharp reaction from the jewellers, who have been on strike for 34 days. The jewellery industry has been demanding rollback of excise duty hike.
The Government has set up a sub-committee under former Chief Economic Advisor Ashok Lahiri to look into the problems of jewellers and suggest ways to eliminate harassment.
The Finance Ministry has already clarified that the 1 per cent levy will be only for jewellers with Rs 12 crore turnover and not small traders.
It has also said artisans and job workers are not covered by this duty and thus they are not required to take registration, pay duty, file returns and maintain any books of account.
Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal on Monday addressed a gathering of jewellers, gold traders and artisans who staged a dharna at Jantar Mantar here.
“The excise duty was imposed without consulting traders. It will only lead to inspector raj and spike in corruption. The cost of collection would be much more than what the Government hopes to earn,” Kejriwal said.
Jewellers are considering to open their outlets to take advantage of the upcoming Gudi Padwa festival that falls on April 8. According to Hindu mythology, buying gold on Gudi Padwa brings lot of prosperity.