With the jewellers’ strike entering the 14th day on Tuesday, Delhi’s chief excise commissioner Ashok Kumar Gupta assured jewellers of hassle-free compliance.
This comes a day after finance Minister Arun Jaitley rejected demands for the rollback of the 1% excise levy on non-silver jewellery sales in India saying the move is aimed at aligning gold with the goods and services tax.
Gupta was addressing doubts from traders and industry on the proposed levy.
Ashok Minawalla, director with the Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF), who was present in a meeting with the finance minister last week had said, “Paying additional revenue is not an issue as it will be passed to the consumer. Harassment that jewellers face from the excise department and the fact that laws are complex are the reasons behind the strike.”
The finance ministry has since clarified that jewellers only with a turnover of more than Rs 12 crore will be liable to pay the proposed excise duty. It also said that artisans would not have to register with the excise department or pay he levy.
Jewellers across the country have been protesting against the proposed excise duty on non-silver jewellery items as well as the mandatory quoting of PAN by customers for transaction of Rs 2 lakh and above. They have been quoting poor business after government made quoting of PAN mandatory from January this year.
Meanwhile, bullion traders in the national capital will observe a ‘bandh’ on March 17 in support of jewellers, who are on an indefinite strike against the proposal, Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said in a statement. Bullion markets have been shut since the strike began.
Jewellers admitted on Sunday that business amounting to Rs 60,000 crore had been lost and they were concerned about the artisans. “But it’s a question of resisting an unfair levy,” Mohit Kamboj, president of Indian Bullion & Jewellers Association said on Sunday.