More than 300,000 jewelers across India are taking in a three-day strike starting today (Thursday) to protest against a proposed 1% excise duty on gold and diamond jewelry which they believe will severely impact sales of jewelry. In excess of 300 industry associations, including manufacturers, craftspeople and others, are participating. The proposed tax would be another burden on an industry already beset by challenges, said All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) Chairman G V Sreedhar.
He said a 1% excise duty had been imposed on the gems and jewelry sector in 2005 and 2012, but had been dropped since it was later regarded as impractical for an industry mostly comprised of highly skilled but under-educated people not equipped to handle the paper work required for it, the Business Standard daily reported. Industry officials plan to have meetings at the Finance Ministry to explain the difficulties faced by the industry.