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Rajasthan jewellers' strike enters fourth day, business hit

Jaipur, Tue, 20 Mar 2012 ANI

Jaipur, Mar 20 (ANI): The jewellers' protest against a proposed duty increase on gold imports entered its fourth day on Tuesday.


The jewellery market in Jaipur wore a deserted look on Tuesday, with placards making appeals to "support the bandh (strike)".


"Jewellers across Rajasthan have incurred loss of around 500 crores. Our business is of wholesale and gold and due to good turnover, the government earns good amount of revenue. Our business is shutdown for past three days, even today whole market is closed. This shutdown has adversely affected our turnover and income due to which government will not be able to get taxes," said Matadin Sodhi, a jeweller.


The central government for the second time in 2012 doubled import tax on gold bars to four percent on value, revising the cost upwards by up to 1,040 rupees per 10 grams.


The government also intends to charge two percent on jewellery purchases more than 200,000 rupees along with an excise of a percent on non-branded jewellery. Gold imports have been blamed for the country's widening current account deficit.


Demanding a rollback, Rakesh Rediwala, another jeweller said that government is unwary of unnecessary burden that would be put on traders and people with the imposition of the tax.


"The tax imposed by government is baseless, as they will not get any benefit out of this. Finance minister has nowhere mentioned in his speech that how much revenue they have received till now and how much will they fetch by the imposition of new tax. Businessmen and entire country is already facing the brunt of economic slowdown along with surging inflation, it would become impossible for the common man to purchase gold and silver and it would make hole in their pocket," said Rediwala.


The All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (AIGFTF) called the strike against the one percent increase in the excise duty over gold in the union budget.


The strike, which started on Saturday, will continue till March 21.


The Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, had earlier, refused to waive off any of the duties. (ANI)


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