Jewellers, protesting against the levy of various duties on jewellery in the Budget, will keep their shops closed until Wednesday. Around 1.2 lakh jewellery shops and jewellery making units will be shut.
Jewellers have also hinted that the protest could grow further if the government fails to accept their demands.
In the union budget, Customs duty on gold was doubled to 4% while excise duty was introduced on unbranded precious jewellery. The excise duty will be 1% on 30% of the transaction value. Besides this, the government has also levied 1% consumer tax. Jewellers are demanding that the Customs duty be brought to its earlier level and also that excise duty and consumer tax be removed.
“All jewellery shops in the country will remain closed for another two days [till Wednesday],” said Vasant Birawat, who is on the board of directors of Gem and Jewellery Federation (GJF), and is also the chairman of its Manufacturing Committee.
Core committee members of GJF have gone to Delhi to meet finance minister Pranab Mukherjee with the demands of jewellers.
Jewellers have hinted that the protest could grow further if the government fails to accept their demands. Jain said as a last option, they would go to Delhi and stage a dharna outside Parliament.