Jewellers extend strike for 3 more days
Demand rollback of hike in excise duty on gold
Srinagar, Mar 19: The Valley jewellers today extended their strike for three more days. The jewellers are protesting excise duty hike on gold import announced in the union budget 2012-13 on Friday.
Earlier, the jewellers had gone for 3-day strike from Saturday on the call of All Kashmir Gold Dealers and Workers’ Association.
The jewellers and goldsmiths today held demonstrations at Hari Singh High Street, here appealing the government to spare them from any excise duty hike.
President of the Association, Bashir Ahmad Rather said: “We have decided to extend our strike for another three days. We are demanding immediate rollback of excise duty hike on gold import announced in the budget.” “Government seems hell bent on destroying our trade. The hike will burden the customers also and our business will be badly affected,” he said.
Rather said the union finance minister has proposed to hike charge duty from 2 to 4 percent on gold import.
“Excise duty will further dampen the customer spirit and the retail gold business, which has already been in doldrums, will face further slump,” he said. Interestingly, hike in excise duty has come at a time when the wedding season in Kashmir is about to begin.
Meanwhile, prospective gold buyers are also in dilemma as all the gold dealers are on strike and they are eagerly waiting for the outcome of their strike.
“I have to purchase jewellery for my daughter who is going to be married soon, but due to strike I had to defer my shopping plan,” Mehraj ud Din of Ellahi Bagh said. It is pertinent to mention that All India Gold Dealers and Workers’ Association has also extended its strike for another three days
To mention, Finance minister on Friday doubled import duty on standard gold from 2 to 4 per cent and for non-standard gold from five to 10 per cent.
This is the second increase in customs duty on gold since the start of this year. Earlier in January, the government had increased duty from 1 per cent to 2 per cent.
Branded gold Jewellery makers say the move will trigger an increase in prices in the range of 2.5 per cent to 4 per cent from early next month.
Lastupdate on : Mon, 19 Mar 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 19 Mar 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Mar 2012 00:00:00 IST
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