Traders in the national capital will observe a ‘bandh’ on March 17 in support of jewellers who are on an indefinite strike against a levy of 1 per cent excise duty on manufacturing of gold and diamond jewellery, CAIT said today. “The Delhi traders will observe a Delhi trade bandh on March 17 in support of jewellery traders,” Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) said in a statement.
It said the decision regarding this was taken yesterday in a meeting which was attended by more than 200 trade associations from all parts of Delhi.
“It is a joint call of all trade associations of Delhi for expressing solidarity with jewellery traders. The Delhi traders will also participate in large numbers in a massive rally to be held on the same day by jewellers,” it said in a statement.
It also appealed to Finance Minister Arun Jaitley to consider other options for generation of revenue and asked for a dialogue with striking traders to resolve the issue.
“The traders are not afraid of paying the tax but it is the complex taxation system which is victimising the trading community. Several other options are available for augmentation of revenue and therefore the government should withdraw levy of excise on jewellery,” it added.
Further, it said as per an estimate, during the eight-day strike period, there is a business loss of about Rs 8,500 crore which further resulted into a revenue loss of about Rs 250 crore in terms of custom duty and about Rs 65 crore as VAT.
Meanwhile, in the neighbourhood Ghaziabad, jewellers associated with Ghaziabad chapter of UP Sarafa Vayapar Association (UPSVA) staged a protest today.
For the last five days, protesting jewellers have been holding ‘torch light processions’ in the city and have threatened to intensify their protests with novel methods of agitation to draw the attention of central government.