Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Jewellers Continue strike

Jewellery shops across the State remained closed for the 18th consecutive day in protest against the Central Government for hike in import duty and excise duty on unbranded jewellery.

They have gone on strike ever since the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee in his Budget proposed one per cent excise duty on unbranded jewellery and doubling the import duty to 4 per cent on gold.

Hundreds of Swarankars, under the banner of Swarankar Sangh Jammu Province (SSJP) held protest demonstration with empty utensils against the recently imposed excise duty on unbranded jewellery and import of gold.

Jewellers from Chowk Chabutra, Pacca Danga, Moti Bazaar, Purani Mandi, City Chowk, Kanak Mandi, Lakhdatta Bazaar. Peer Mitha, Link Road and Jain Bazaar participated in the protest and raised slogans against the Central Government.

"March is usually a lean period for jewellery business. However, this year there were important festivals like "Navratras" and Jewellers incurred huge loss during this period", Raj Kumar Babber, President, Swarankar Sangh Jammu Province said.

He said that dharnas in various parts of the state are going on and also spread to small towns as well adding that the strike will go on till the Government rolls back the taxes imposed.

"Imposition of excise duty on unbranded jewellery may lead to heavy paper work for small traders", Babber said, adding, that with jewellers on strike since March 17, gold imports are likely to witness a decline in the month.

Among others, who joined the protest, included Kulbhushan Anand, president, Jammu city, SSJP, Parjan Anand, president, Sarafa Association, Ved Prakash Sethi, Chairman, SSJP, Ram Kapoor, general secretary, Rajinder Sehdev, cashier, Vijay Verma, vice president, Ashok Suri, joint secretary, Ashok Kumar Naggi, spokesman and Arun Sethi, vice president, Jammu city and other members viz jewellers of the State.

Reports pouring in from other districts of the Jammu province including Reasi, Poonch, Doda, Kishtwar, Samba, Rajouri and Udhampur, revealed that the jewellery shops also remained closed there and all the Swarankars from these districts held protest against this move of the Central Government and demanded its immediate revocation.

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