Protesting against the Centre’s proposal to impose excise duty on gold and diamond ornaments, 10 jewellers sat on an hunger strike for an indefinite period at the Nehru shopping complex here on Saturday.
Agitators shouted slogans against Union finance minister Arun Jaitley, who had made an unsuccessful bid to the Lok Sabha from the city. They also urged the state government to take up the issue with the Centre.
Jewellers across the nation have been on strike since March 2 against the Union Budget proposal of imposing 1% excise duty on non-silver jewellery items besides the mandatory furnishing of PAN details during transactions above Rs 2 lakh.
Members of Amritsar Sarafa Association (ASA), Bullion Ornament Civil Line and District Swarankar Sangh also carried on their demonstration at Guru Bazaar. With the shops remaining shut on the eleventh day as well, Sarafan Bazaar witnessed a deserted look. Members of the jewellers’ associations reiterated that the proposal would push them into deep financial mess and the government needed to review it.
Terming the proposal a draconian law, ASA president Sawinder Singh said the government was ignoring the plight of goldsmith community.