The Indian Jewellers in New Delhi temporarily called off their 42-day strike, as they demanded a rollback of the proposed excise duty on non-silver jewellery, after the government’s assurance that there will be no harassment by excise officials. According to Surinder Kumar Jain, vice-president of All India Sarafa Association, “We have decided to temporarily call off the strike till April 24 after the government’s assurance”. The Jeweler association in Maharashtra had also called off their strike temporarily from April 14 to April 24.
Over three lakh jewelers from more than 300 associations kept their establishments closed across the country since March 2 after Finance Minister Arun Jaitley proposed levying a 1% excise duty on non-silver jewellery in the Budget Announcement.
Major jewellery associations, including All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF), India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBBJ) and Gems Jewellery Export Promotion Council decided to call off the strike after meeting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley regarding the 1 per cent excise duty proposed on jewellery in the budget. “It (excise duty) has not been rolled back but our grievances have been taken care of”, said the Indian jeweler representative, adding that the Indian Finance Minister assured that there will be no ‘inspector raj’ and we are hopeful of getting a notification in this regard.
The Indian gems and jeweler industry is estimated to have incurred over Rs 35,000 crore loss during over the month strike period.