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Jewellers strike goes on for another day

The festival of Gudi Padwa lost some sheen as jewellers' strike stretched for another day demanding rollback of one per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery

Jewellers strike goes on for another day
Shuttered jewellery showrooms

New Delhi

Jewellers, bullion traders and artisans across the country have been protesting since March 2 against the proposed levy and mandatory quoting of PAN by customers for transactions of Rs 2 lakh and above.

However, a few jewellers opened their shops in Zaveri Bazar, Mumbai today on the auspicious day of 'Gudi Padwa' but volume remained negligible as customers were confused whether shops will open or not.

Most of the jewellery showrooms in Tamil Nadu also were open for regular trading. Generally on 'Gudi Padwa', an auspicious day to buy gold, turnover is between Rs 500-600 crore in gold and bullion only, in Maharashtra, said a jeweller in Mumbai.

"Even on auspicious Gudi Padwa day, bullion markets wore a deserted look in Maharashtra and other places", said All-India Sarafa Association Vice-President Surinder Kumar Jain.

There is no sign of end to the impasse as the government did not show any indication of withdrawing the proposal, he said.

"Wedding season is round the corner and customers will have tough time in coming days as there is negligible ready stock of jewellery," Jain said.

The government has already constituted a panel under former Chief Economic Advisor Ashok Lahri to look into the demands of jewellers.

The panel, which has been asked to submit its report in 60 days, will look into issues related to compliance procedure for the excise duty, including records to be maintained, forms to be filled, operating procedures and other relevant issues.

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