City jewellers have welcomed the Centre’s decision to increase the annual turnover cap from Rs. 6 crore to Rs. 10 crore for charging excise duty on jewellers and gold traders.
While the jewellers said that the Centre’s decision has come as a relief to them, they still have a list of grievances regarding imposition of central excise duty on gold traders. In a first, a 1% excise duty was imposed on gold trading and manufacturing from March 1, 2016.
There had been nationwide protests by gold traders following the move and many had gone on strike. Jewellers had said that the Rs. 6 crore cap would adversely affect gold traders in the country. The protests had lasted for over 45 days in March and April.
“We appreciate this move as the government has increased the annual turnover of a jeweller from Rs. 6 crore to Rs. 10 crore in a financial year to qualify for 1% excise duty,” said Ramavtar Verma, a gold trader and member of the committee appointed by the Centre on April 27 to look into gold traders’ grievances.
The Centre had constituted the committee consisting of officials and representatives of traders’ associations to look into jewellers’ demands. The committee has submitted its report on June 23.
“The Centre finally has accepted recommendations of the committee that was set up to address grievances of traders. There are many other issues that Centre still has to address,” said Sushil Kumar Jain, Rashtriya Sangathan Mantri and district president of Bhartiya Udyog Vyapar Mandal in Gautam Budh Nagar.
However, excise officials in Noida refused comment on the grounds that they are yet to get an update from the Centre in this regard.
The Centre has tried to impose excise duty on gold traders twice in the past decade, but massive protests every time forced it to withdraw the same.
“With the change in the government at the Centre, the excise duty became important all of a sudden and the Central government imposed it with immediate effect without consulting gold traders. The government is trying to give excise inspectors the power to extort us. We fail to understand the need for excise when we have been paying sales tax, customs, VAT and all other taxes,” said Rajender Verma, a gold trader in Noida.