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Bullion strike enters 14th day as Jaitley refuses to budge

Source: PTI
March 15, 2016 15:41 IST
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Gold jewelleryThe protest by gold and jewellery traders entered the 14th day on Tuesday even as Finance Minister Arun Jaitley rejected demands for rollback of one per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery.

Jewellers across the country have been protesting against the proposed excise duty on  non-silver jewellery items as well as mandatory quoting of Permanent Account Number by customers for transaction of Rs 200,000 and above.

Speaking in Lok Sabha on Monday, Jaitley rejected demands for rollback of the 1 per cent excise duty, saying the move is aimed at aligning gold with Goods and Services Tax which he hopes will happen soon.

Business has drastically dropped by about 20 per cent since the government made quoting of PAN mandatory by customers for transaction of Rs 200,000 and above, All-India Sarafa Association Vice-President Surinder Kumar Jain said.

Jaitley in the Budget for 2016-17 had proposed 1 per cent excise duty on jewellery without input credit or 12.5 per cent with input tax credit on jewellery excluding silver other than studded with diamonds and some other precious stones.

The finance ministry has clarified that jewellers only with a turnover of more than Rs 12 crore (Rs 120 million) will be liable to pay the proposed excise duty on non-silver jewellery items.

Meanwhile, traders in the national capital will observe a 'bandh' on March 17 in support of jewellers who are on an indefinite strike against the proposal, Confederation of All India Traders said in a statement.

The image is used for representational purpose only. Photograph: Reuters

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