Jewellers on 3-day pan-India strike from today

Jewellers across the country have decided to go on a three-day strike from today to protest the proposed re-imposition of 1 per cent excise duty and mandatory PAN cards for any transactions of Rs 2 lakh and above, an industry grouping yesterday said.

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“We had a meeting with our members as well as with other associations under our network. We have collectively decided to go on 3-day strike from tomorrow. More than 300 associations, including manufacturers, retainers, artisans among others across the country will participate in the stir,” said Sreedhar GV, chairman of All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF).

Sreedhar said gems and jewellery industry is disappointed with the government’s apathy towards the sector with the proposal of re-imposition of 1 per cent Excise Duty in the Budget 2016-17, presented on Monday by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley.

“We were already facing challenges and businesses have gone down by 25-30 per cent after the government’s decision in January to make PAN cards mandatory for any transactions of Rs 2 lakh and above. Instead of increase the slab to Rs 10 lakh from the current Rs 2 lakh, the government has created more difficulties by the proposal to re-introduce 1 per cent Excise Duty,” he rued.

Sreedhar said, GJF is also planning to send a delegation soon with a representation to the Finance Ministry to explain the difficulties faced by the industry with these measures.

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