Lending his support to jewellers, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal today demanded roll back of 1 per cent increase in excise duty on non-silver jewellery by the Centre and said he would also write to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue.
“I strongly object to the excise duty levied on the Jewellery sector by the central government and demand its roll back,” Kejriwal said after meeting a delegation of jewellers who sought his support for their demand of withdrawal of hike announced in the Union Budget.
Claiming that the move will only lead to “corruption”, he said he does not see any point in the impost except for “harassment” of the traders.
“The Centre should accept its mistake and roll back the duty immediately. Rather than harassing our jewellers, we should promote them... our party raised the issue in Parliament and I will write a letter to the Prime Minister on the issue and ask him to roll back the excise duty of 1 per cent on jewellery sector,” the CM said.
Kejriwal said Modi had opposed the same levy when it was imposed by the Congress-led UPA government and wondered why now he was supporting it. “I demand that the Prime Minister make it clear what made him change his stand?” he said.
He further said the central government should have consulted jewellers before introducing the new duty and that no policy should be formed without consultation with the stakeholders, including the people.
Gold and jewellery establishments across the country are closed for the last 15 days to protest the Budget proposal.