City jewellers are a happy lot following the government's decision to rollback excise duty on jewellery. Jewellers across the country had entered into an indefinite strike after the Union Budget had imposed 1% excise duty on unbranded jewellery.
However, the traders had withdrawn their strike after 21 days, following assurance from finance minister Pranab Mukherjee of reconsidering the proposal.
Anand Sikri, president, Ludhiana Jewellers' Association, said, "The government rolling back the excise duty is a welcome decision. We appreciate that the government has accepted our demand. All jewellers are ecstatic and have been distributing sweets to celebrate the decision."
There are around 28,000 jewellery shops in the state, of which 1,500 are in Ludhiana district. However, while the jewellers were trying to build pressure on the government by closing their shops, it was the common man, who was getting affected.
People, who had planned weddings and other occasions in April, were a disappointed lot, as they could not get jewellery anywhere.
Various leaders from the BJP, Congress and SAD had visited the jewellers, including cabinet minister Sharanjeet Singh Dhillon, member of parliament Manish Tiwari and former health minister Satpal Gosain.