Government officials harassing jewellers ahead of Diwali, says gem and jewellery body (File Photo)
In the wake of several incidents of alleged harassment of jewellers by government officials, the Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) has demanded the Centre to circulate standard norms to check goods in transit. The GJC, a national trade body that looks into promotion and growth of trade in gems and jewellery across India, alleged “illegal raids” on jewellers by police, income tax and GST officials.
“There have been complaints that the officials are indulging in nepotism and bribes,” the GJC alleged in a statement, adding that it has caused mental torture and harassment to the jewellers.
This festive season, jewellers across the country have been suffering owing to low sales.
“As the gem and jewellery industry is trying to get organised and become compliant, small and medium-sized jewellers are being deliberately targeted and we are witnessing no ease of business,” GJC chairman Nitin Khandelwal said in a statement.
Officials are harassing the jewellers at different places during transit though due procedures are being followed, Khandelwal alleged.
“We request the government to issue final standard operating procedures and process off of the goods in transit and circulate across all the departments such as GST, police, Railway Protection Force (RPF), Directorate General of Goods & Services Tax Intelligence (DGGSTI), Income Tax etc,” Khandelwal said.
Small town traders from Nagpur, Bhusawal, Itarsi and Kandwa regions of Maharashtra among others have complained that they have been harassed in trains while heading to their respective towns. According to local jewellers, six raids have been conducted in Thane district of Maharashtra in the last few days, the GJC alleged.
The Union Finance Ministry had during the GST adoption process assured jewellers that under no circumstances will inspector raj be levied nor will jewellers be subjected to harassment of any kind, Khandelwal said in the statement.
(With PTI inputs)