Jewelers Suspend Strike
Resume trade; customers upbeat
Srinagar, Apr 9: Valley-based jewelers today returned to their usual business after remaining on strike for last 23 days as they suspended their strike till May 11. Gold dealers are demanding rollback in the hike of excise duty and amendments in Central Excise Act announced in the Union Budget 2012-13.
Jewelers across the valley opened their shops and there was a heavy rush of customers.
Anil Verma, Spokesperson of All Kashmir Gold Dealers and Workers Association, told Greater Kashmir: “We have decided to suspend our strike till May 11 and we are hopeful that the Central Government will roll back the hike in excise duty and do away with the harsh amendments in the Centre Excise Act.”
“We are thankful to the gold dealers and other people who supported us in making this strike successful,” Verma said adding, “We have not called off the strike but suspended it till May 11.”
President of Gold Dealers Association, Bashir Ahmad Rather said: “We have suspended the strike so that Central Government gets time to rethink on its decision of hiking excise duty on the yellow metal.”
“If they won’t roll back the hike in excise duty, we will again come on streets and protest,” Rather warned the Central Government.
Local goldsmiths and workers had a sigh of relief with their business returning to normal.
“I am happy that the strike has been suspended so that we can do our business as usual. During these days we have suffered heavy losses,” a gold dealer said.
Gold buyers, particularly women, were happy that the strike has been suspended. The strike had worried the customers ahead of marriage season.
“I was very worried as in next few months my daughter is getting married. I have not purchased any jewelry as yet. I had planned to buy it this month but the strike ruined my plans. But now I am happy that I will be able to purchase the metal,” Javid Ahmad, a local resident, said.
Gold dealers have apprehensions that increase in excise duty will make the metal dearer and impact their trade.
Earlier, excise duty on branded jewelry was paid at the rate of 2 percent and 5 percent on unbranded jewelry. Now it has been increased to 4 percent on branded jewelry and 10 percent on unbranded jewelry. It is pertinent to mention that the 90 percent sale in local market is of unbranded jewelry.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 9 Apr 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 9 Apr 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 10 Apr 2012 00:00:00 IST
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