Intensifying their strike on Friday, jewellers surrounded district BJP president Parveen Bansal house to mark their dissent over the levying of the excise duty on gold jewellery as strike entered day 22.
Jewellers gathered on College Road and then marched till BJP leader’s house at Kidwai Nagar. Jewellers were then countered by the police personnel after which they raised slogans against Parveen Bansal.
Anand Sikri, president of Ludhiana Jewellers Association said on Saturday they have planned to block traffic movement at the Ladhowal toll plaza and protest against the passive stance of government over the excise duty issue.
Sarjeevan Dheer, patron of Punjab Swarankar Sangh, said, “We would continue with indefinite strike until government takes a satisfactory decision on the issue. We were already battling a low business scenario owing to skyrocketing prices of gold and the decision of the Centre to make furnishing of PAN card, a mandatory while making a purchase of Rs 2 lakh and above.”
He said the decision did not make any practical sense as only a small percentage of total population posses PAN cards. Punjab is a farmers’ state and even while buying a small gold ornament piece of 100-gm cost around ` 3 lakh but the irony was that farmers did not have the PAN cards, therefore the transaction could not take place.
Notably some of the jewellers opened their shops on Wednesday, following which, majority of members assaulted them physically before forcibly downing their shutters, all the jewellery shops remained shut on Friday.