City jewellers burnt an effigy symbolising excise rules on Monday as a mark of protest against 1% excise duty increased by the Centre. They also took out a procession in the city and jewellery shops remained closed for the eighth consecutive day despite it being the wedding season.
The strike has caused an estimated loss of over `250 crore in the last seven days. The figure is likely to double as the traders have extended their strike for another week on a call from the National Association of Jewellers. There are about 300 jewellery shops in the district that do a daily business of nearly `50 crore.
“The Hindu wedding season is ending next week (on Monday) and as far as I know, there are 50 weddings taking place in Noida in these remaining days. I am completely booked for them,” said Acharya Sanjiv Mishra. He added that most of the weddings are taking place in villages.
Chaudhary Ramesh of Dadri said he purchased jewellery for a wedding from Delhi last Friday.
“I had hoped that the shops would open after the initial three-day strike, but jewellers extended it to March 7 and now they have extended it for a fortnight. I know many people from my village who have done a lot of shopping for jewellery outside Noida,” he said.
Sushil Kumar Jain, president of the Sector 18 market association in Noida, said, “We burnt an effigy of excise rules and took out processions in Sector 18 market. We want the Central government to consider our demand to roll back the 1% excise duty, which is draconian. We have written to the government from the forum of our National Association of Jewellers,” said Sushil Kumar Jain, president of the Noida Sector 18 market association.
The protests started on March 1 and are likely to continue till March 14.
“Our one-point agenda is that the government withdraw the 1% excise duty on gold. It will discourage gold traders,” said Rajender Verma, president, Noida Jewellers’ Association.