Jewellers’ strike enters 17th day even as both sides continue to lose money
Moneylife Digital Team 02 April 2012

Jewellers across the country have suffered a business loss of around Rs14,000 crore while the revenue loss for the government comes to about Rs690 crore, due to the ongoing strike against the excise duty hike in Budget 2012-13

The ongoing indefinite nationwide strike by jewellers, demanding roll back in the excise duty announced in the Union Budget, is proving to be a costly affair not for the jewellers, but also for the government. On Monday, the strike entered into its 17th day.

In a statement, the All India Jewellers Association (AIJA), said, “…with continuous nationwide strike of 17 days, there is an estimated loss of business worth Rs14,000 crore resulting into a loss of custom duty revenue of Rs550 crores to the central government and about Rs140 crore loss has been caused to state governments on account of VAT.”
According to the Association, the government has fetched only Rs25 crore as tax from jewellers during the past 17 days. The Association has urged the government to act wisely and accept genuine demand of traders by rolling back the excise duty immediately.

“We do not mind paying taxes, but we will not pay any excise duty. What is the rationale behind (charging) it? The government will soon announce the Goods and Services Tax (GST), so there is no point in levying the excise duty and therefore we demand complete roll back of this (excise duty). Till then the strike will not be called off,” said Manish Jain, of Rajmal Lakhichand, one of the biggest jeweller in Maharashtra.

Sarafa bazaars (jewellery markets) in Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Chhattisgarh, Tamil Nadu and in other states remained completely closed and no trading activities took place as markets wore deserted look, the AIJA said in the release.
To control the current account deficit (CAD) partly caused by the imports of gold and other precious metals in the first three quarters of this fiscal, the finance minister has proposed additional duties to limit the imports of gold and silver. Finance minister Pranab Mukherjee has proposed to increase import duty on gold to 4%, increase excise duty on branded and non-branded jewellery by 1%, 2% tax on cash sales of over Rs2 lakh, while removing the 1% excise duty on branded silver jewellery.
To protest against the hike, jewellers from across the country are on a strike since 17th March.

AIJA, in an earlier release said, “…the trade does not hesitate to collect and pay taxes in any other form like surcharge or cess but certainly not interested in becoming subject to one another department of excise. Already the trade is subject to numerous other taxes like custom duty, VAT, directly and several other taxes indirectly. Further, the traders are required to comply with other state and local self-government laws, rules and Acts.”

Measures announced in Budget 2012-13:

  • The Budget has proposed an excise duty of 1% on unbranded precious jewellery. 1% duty on branded jewellery existed earlier.
  • Increase in basic customs duty on standard gold bars; gold coins of purity exceeding 99.5% and platinum from 2% to 4% and on non-standard gold from 5% to 10%. Excise duty on refined gold is being increased in the same proportion from 1.5% to 3%.
  • In order to prevent round-tripping, it is proposed to impose basic customs duty of 2% on cut and polished, coloured gemstones at par with diamonds.
  • The Budget also proposed to levy 1% of TDS for transactions valued at more than Rs2 lakh. All such transactions must be backed by PAN details
  • Service tax of 12.5% levied on non-branded gold and jewellery. Even artisans and craftsmen come under the ambit.
mr naresh kumar
1 decade ago
i am naresh from hanuman garh ye sarkar aise nhi manegi. Hame kuch kathor kadam uthane padenge.
B V Vijaya BE CIS
1 decade ago
You have mentioned the loss of 14,000 crores. But what about the gain in lks of crores what the Jewellers make in year. Profit & loss are part of a business & it need not be given undue importance unless it calls for.
Common man is not at all disturbed by this.
Gold is supplied by production in India itself, by smuggling which is a known fact, a portion is imported and by reselling by individuals. The impact of 4% rise is only for imported gold.
Media should give clear and right picture jto the public.
1 decade ago
Rather than giving reforms to the trade and industry, Mr finance minister has introduced hurdles. If govt wants revenue from this trade than
1. Might increase vat
2. Without tax stock registration with ST.
3. Remove precious metal from Mcx and stop speculation
4. No tax for first five years of business.
5. Easy and online billing of vat
many more but this govt seems to be either against various trades or doesn't know what to do but just roaming around the same old methods of hurdles.
We must learn from China which has emerges the strongest manufacturing hub and business centre. If atleast you can't work to curb inflation than please work to improve per capita income. Any business just doesn't feed an entrepreneur it feeds many other related to it.. Dear Govt.. All trades need reforms to rise our economy fro m silent and vicious recession..
1 decade ago
With all due respects, it appears as though the "branded" and "corporate" jewellers are still functioning, at least in Delhi side, and the rest are also dealing with their old family customers.

A "strike" by shop-keepers is not likely to really succeed in the long term.

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