Every bride’s worst nightmare: Jewellers’ strike ruin Delhi weddings

  • Torsha Sen, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Mar 14, 2016 15:25 IST
Jewellers on strike to protest against increased excise duty on gold at Karol bagh, in New Delhi. (Photo: Ravi Choudhary/HT)

The on-going strike by jewellers in the country has taken the shine away from weddings in Delhi. And here’s how. Brides-to-be have had to put their wedding jewellery shopping on hold, with many of them fearing that they may have to turn to imitation jewellery.

Bride to be 30-year-old Ruchi Singh, says, “We still have not bought the gold items that we want to gift the groom. It will be very embarrassing for us to not give anything to him on the wedding,” As a last recourse, Ruchi’s family has requested the family jeweller to come home with some men’s gold items.

Jewellers across the city observed the nationwide strike against the government's decision of 1% excise duty and mandatory PAN card for transactions worth Rs 2 lakh and above. (Sunil Ghosh/ HT Photo)

“But I am afraid we will not get the variety that we would have got if we went to the shop, or got a chance to visit a couple of shops,” she adds. 27-year-old Rashi Agarwal is not as lucky. She had decided to buy her wedding jewellery closer to her marriage, and with the wedding just a month away, she is paranoid now. “I’m hoping this strike will come to an end soon otherwise I have to go for imitation jewellery on my D-day.”

Read: 1% worry, 99% fear, why Indian jewellers are striking

Jewellery shops have been closed since March 2 against the 1% excise duty and mandatory PAN card for purchases of Rs 2 lakh or more.

Speaking to us, RK Sharma, president, South Extension Jewellers Association says, “The budgetary proposal imposing excise duty on gold jewellery would harm the trade and affect the livelihood of all artisans and manufacturers. We know the trouble that our customers are facing, but we are helpless.”

DD Karel, a senior member of the Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation, adds, “Plus the compliance associated with it becomes a huge headache for small jewellers who are running family business and don’t have the resources to hire other people to keep and account.”

“A similar thing had happened in the past and most traders shifted their base to Dubai and made it a hub for the rest of the world. We don’t want it to happen this time too,” said Ramesh Narang of Hazoorilal Jewellers.

Read: Jewellers in no mood to relent, sit on hunger strike on Day 11

However some brides are happy. Bride-to-be Shabnam Kundra says, “It’s good isn’t it? Isi bahane extra expenses on jewellery can be curbed. I have asked my parents to transfer the money for jewellery to my account. I can use it for my honeymoon.”

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