Jewellers are divided on calling off their strike against imposition of excise duty with more than half of the industry continuing with their 20-day old stir demanding rollback of the budget proposal.
Late Saturday, major associations, including All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF), All India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA) and Gems Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) called off strike after Government’s assurance that there would be no ‘Inspector Raj’ and no harassment / raiding of jewellers’ premises by excise officials.
However, local associations, particularly those in Delhi- NCR, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, are against calling off the strike and want rollback of the 1 per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery items.
Meanwhile, most of jewellers have reopened their showrooms in Tamil Nadu and Pudduchery.
However, All India Sarafa Association is opposed to the strike. Vice-President Surinder Kumar Jain was quoted by agencies as saying: “the strike in the National Capital will go on for an indefinite period until the Government rolls back the excise duty.”
A dharna is also being organized at Chandni Chowk by jewellers, bullion traders and artisans.
Although major associations unanimously decided to call off their strike on Saturday, the member associations and local bodies are demanding complete roll-back, he said, adding that the shops are being forcefully closed.
Besides GJF, IBJA and GJEPC, Bamalwa said the associations from Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra were present in the meeting.