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Govt may roll back duty hike on jewellery: Reports

Centre is likely to roll back excise duty hike on gold and non-branded jewellery, according to reports. Congress President Sonia Gandhi met jewellers today. Jewellers meeting FM urged to safeguard bullions' interest
By HT Correspondent | Agencies, New Delhi
UPDATED ON APR 06, 2012 11:39 AM IST

Centre is likely to roll back excise duty hike on gold and non-branded jewellery, according to reports. Congress President Sonia Gandhi met jewellers today.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee will also meet jewellers on Friday.


"The meeting has been called to discuss the issue of rollback of excise duties, TCS and customs duties levied in the latest union budget. We shall make all efforts to convince him for ordering a 100% rollback," All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation (AIGJTF) Chairman Bachhraj Bamalwa said.

In the budget, Mukherjee had hiked the import duty on gold bars, coins and platinum from two to four% and levied one% excise duty on unbranded jewellery.

This has led to the jewellery trade being shut down since March 17, terming the new levies "unviable".

The AIGJTF made two representations to the finance ministry explaining the difficulties encountered by them and sought a complete rollback of the new proposals, prompting Mukherjee to assure that the government would set an "acceptable formula" on these proposals.

"However, Vivek John, Joint Secretary, Tax Research Unit-1 of the ministry has said that the issues raised by us are being examined by the Central Board of Direct Taxes and would be clarified shortly. But this is just a temporary relief and not acceptable to us," Bamalwa said.

Delhi Jewellers and Goldsmith Association President Ram Avtar Verma said that jewellers will decide on whether to end the strike or not after meeting the Finance Minister.

"We appreciate the assurance of a positive action by the finance minister to the agitating bullion traders and are hopeful of an early solution to the crisis," he added.

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