Lucknow, March 31 (IANS) Business across the state was crippled Friday as jewellers in Uttar Pradesh observed a shutdown in protest of the central government's decision to hike excise, custom duty on gold jewellery and tax deduction on transaction of over Rs.2 lakhs.
In Lucknow, the jewellers showed solidarity and pulled down their shutters in busy markets like Chowk and Hazratganj and declared that they would fight to the finish and would only rest when union Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee rolled back the hike in taxes.
Jewellers, under the banner of the UP Sarrafa Association staged a protest in the state capital and gheraoed the Congress office at Mall avenue and submitted a memorandum to officials of the UP Congress committee.
Ravindra Nath Rastogi, president of the UP Sarafa Association vowed to continue the protest and said that the support they had got from other trader associations had boosted their morale.
In Kanpur, Varanasi, Allahabad and Agra too, jewellers and traders observed a total bandh and burnt effigies of United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Pranab Mukherjee.
President of Prayag Sarrafa Mandal in Allahabad, Kuldeep Soni said that the imposition of additional excise duty will be opposed "tooth-n-nail" and "Inspector raj" will not be brought back in the state again. In Varanasi the Uttar Pradesh Udyog Vyapar Pratinidhi Mandal held protests.
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