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Punekars continue to hunt for gold

The indefinite strike called in by the thousands of jewellers across the city, which has been on since March 17, is compelling buyers to go around hunting for jewellery.

The Pune Jewellers Association along with various jewellers association across the country is protesting against the provision of tax proposal on unbranded jewellery proposed in the recently announced general budget.

Shutter down: A man walks past closed jewellery shops. Pic/Krunal Gosavi

As the strike continues, buyers are worried about the availability of gold and silver jewellery, as this is one of the peak seasons for engagements, weddings and thread ceremony.

“We are constantly getting calls from our customers, but we are helpless,” said Raja Waikar, owner of a jewellery shop in Shaniwar Peth. Waikar said that since the labourers are refusing to work, it is impossible for him to accept new orders.
“My son’s thread ceremony is on Tuesday and I wanted to gift him a gold chain. But thanks to the ongoing protest, I’m still hunting for one,” said a buyer. Similarly, Sunil Jogalekar, who had come to the city from Kolhapur to buy jewellery for his daughter’s wedding had to return empty-handed.

“I wanted to buy jewellery for my daughter from a renowned jewellery shop located on Laxmi Road, however, this bandh has left me disappointed,” said Jogalekar.

Nitin Ashtikar of Ashtikar Jewelers said, “Primarily, we are against the government’s rigid policy of heavy paperwork for small purchases.”

“We want justice against this increased tax from one per cent to four per cent on unbranded jewellery that has been imposed on us,” said Fatehchand Ranka of Ranka Jewellers. 

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