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Excise duty: Jewellers sharpen pitch, to hold rally on March 17

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Jewellers will today hold a rally at Ram Lila Maidan in the national capital to protest against the Budget proposal to impose 1 per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery.

Jewellers are on strike since March 2 demanding withdrawal of the proposed excise duty. The strike entered the 15th day today, with gold and jewellery establishments remaining closed across the country.

The All-India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) had yesterday said their pan-India strike will continue till the proposed 1 per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery is withdrawn.

“As the Union Finance Minister fails to address the grievances of the gems and jewellery sector, the jewellers are gearing up for a mega rally on Thursday, March 17, at Ramlila Maidan, New Delhi,” GJF said in a statement today.

The details of actual difficulties faced by the sector have not been acknowledged by the government, it said.

The gems and jewellery sector has been bleeding following the bandh which has caused a loss of almost Rs 20,000 crore to the industry, the association said.

“I wish the government listens to the burning issues and takes a fast decision as the bandh is making goldsmiths and jewellers restless. We hope that our representations made to the government find the right solutions to convince the industry to lift the bandh and get back to work,” GJF Chairman G V Sreedhar said.

Members of over 358 associations, consisting of over 3 lakh manufacturers, retainers, wholesalers and artisans related to the jewellery trade and related businesses are on strike since March 2.

Replying to a debate in the Lok Sabha on the general Budget, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley had rejected demand for rolling back the levy, saying the move is in preparation for unveiling of the goods and services tax (GST).

PTI

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