18-day strike by jewellers cost industry Rs 70,000 crore


The cost of the jewellers’ 18-day strike against the central government’s decision to levy 1% excise duty is estimated to be at staggering Rs 60,000-70,000 crore.

In a statement, the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said that the 18-day stir caused “losses of Rs 60,000-70,000 crore” to the industry.

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A three-member committee has been set up to look into issues of jewellers and it would submit a report to the government within two months.

Gems and Jewellery Federation Chairman Sreedhar G V told PTI, “It (Excise duty) has not been rolled back, but our grievances have been taken care of. The Finance Minister has assured us that there will be no ‘inspector raj’ and we are hopeful of getting a notification in this regard soon. After long deliberations, all associations agreed to call off the stir.”

Jewellers were also opposed to the mandatory quoting of PAN by customers for transactions of Rs 2 lakh and above.

A three-member committee, headed by Economist and former Chief Economic Adviser at the Ministry of Finance and Company Affairs Ashok Lahiri, has been constituted to look into the issues related to Excise duty of the jewellers association and trade bodies and to evolve at a solution.

It would submit its report to the government within 60 days, GJEPC said in the release.

The jewellers’ protests received plenty of support from the opposition parties mainly the Aam Aadmi Party and its leader Arvind Kejriwal, who had slammed the Narendra Modi government for its hypocrisy on the issue.