Goldsmiths burn effigy of Pranab Mukerjee | chandigarh | Hindustan Times
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Goldsmiths burn effigy of Pranab Mukerjee

The goldsmiths of the district today took out a protest rally demanding rollback of anti goldsmith steps and raised slogans against the UPA government besides setting ablaze effigy of finance minister Pranab Mukerjee at Tehsil Chowk in this temple town.

chandigarh Updated: Mar 25, 2012 13:40 IST

The goldsmiths of the district today took out a protest rally demanding rollback of anti goldsmith steps and raised slogans against the UPA government besides setting ablaze effigy of finance minister Pranab Mukerjee at Tehsil Chowk in this temple town.

The jewellers held a meeting in the town this morning and expressed concern over the UPA government budget presented last week by the finance minister in parliament.

According to them the budget had doubled the central excise duty on gold from 2 to 4 per cent besides increasing the taxes from 4 to 10 per cent on non-branded jewellery.

The protest was led by Kewal Malhotra, district president Sarafa Association Tilak Raj Soni, state president Tank Surankar, Sudhar Saba Himachal Pradesh and Ajay Verma, president of Kangra Goldsmith Association.

The protesting goldsmiths and their workers wearing black badges took out a protest march through the main market, college road and Dharamshala road before it converged into a rally at Tehsil Chowk.

Soni said that goldsmith shops in the state would remain closed till March 31 demanding to rollback the anti goldsmith steps in the budget. He said that 97 per cent jewellery used was non branded thus the present budget would affect the common people.

Meanwhile Kewal Malhotra and Ajay Verma criticising the government said that the present steps in the budget would encourage the Inspector Raj in the country which was prevalent between 1963-1982 when the Gold control Act was in-force.

They alleged that the goldsmiths in the country during this dark period suffered a lot and even committed suicide and situation was reeling back to that age now again.

They alleged that government was pushing this community to a dock and said that it would encourage not only the gold smuggling and tax evasion but would encourage corruption too.

The goldsmith shops remained closed in the town Saturday also on call given by National Goldsmith Association.