All jewellery shops in the Saurashtra region on Saturday remained closed, as a part of three-day strike to protest increase in taxes on gold and the jewellery sector.
"All the jewellers in the state, including over 500 jewellers in Rajkot, have joined in the three-day strike organised by All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation," said Bhayabhai Saholiya, president of Rajkot Gold-Dealer Association.
Union finance minister, in the budget presented on Friday, has proposed increase in excise duty on unbranded precious jewellery, and doubled the customs duty on standard gold and platinum from 2% to 4%.
"Gold has always been high-value product and sale of gold jewellery has been declining because of the cost. Small and medium jewellers will have to shut the business with the imposition of new taxes," Saholiya said.
He also said that high taxation might encourage gold smuggling.
Rajkot is known for its artistic gold ornaments, with over 600 jewellers in the area who provide jobs to around one lakh people.
The Association would meet on Monday to decide the next action if the taxes are not withdrawn.