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Updated: April 7, 2012 15:35 IST

Jewellers back to business after 21-day strike

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Jewellers on Saturday returned to business, suspending a three-week long strike following the government’s assurance to consider their demand for a rollback of excise duty and hike in import duty on gold. File photo
The Hindu
Jewellers on Saturday returned to business, suspending a three-week long strike following the government’s assurance to consider their demand for a rollback of excise duty and hike in import duty on gold. File photo

Bullion traders and jewellers opened their shops on Saturday, after calling off 21-day nationwide strike on Friday, as government assured them that their demand for rollback of excise duty on non-branded jewellery will be looked into.

“Most of the jewellery shops in the country have opened this morning,” All India Sarafa Association president Sheel Chand Jain told PTI.

The wholesale bullion markets in the metros, including Zaveri Bazaar in Mumbai and Chandni Chowk in Delhi were back to business.

In Delhi, the bullion market opened with gold quoting at Rs. 28,410 per 10g. However, traders reported thin business.

Retail jewellers too resumed business in most parts of the country except some places in Maharashtra as traders came to Mumbai for attending a pre-scheduled rally, Bombay Bullion Association President Prithviraj Kothari said.

Traders are estimated to have lost Rs. 20,000 crore due to the strike, while loss to the exchequer was about Rs. 1,200 crore in revenues.

Jewellers, however, have warned the government that they would resume strike if the proposal to levy excise duty of 1 per cent is not withdrawn in the Finance Bill, which is expected to come up before Parliament early next month.

The strike from March 17, 2012 followed the Budget proposals a day earlier. They included doubling of import duty on gold to 4 per cent.

Trading volumes, which were thin in the morning, are likely to pick up during the day, Delhi Jewellers and Goldsmith Association president Ram Avtar Verma said.

India, the world’s largest gold consumer, imported 967 tonnes of the precious metal in 2011.

Gold is the second biggest commodity imported after crude oil, adding to the country’s current account deficit. The government has maintained that the import duty hike has been proposed to cut the country’s imports.

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Jewellers do business with physical gold. This involves making charges and wastage of gold. They create innovative exquisite designs. Gold ornaments are part of the culture of the country. On the other hand, e-gold business and on-line trading of gold is mostly speculative in nature. Such on-line gold trading causes the price of gold to go up and down, in a volatile way,affecting the gold jewellers and the public at large. All stakeholders should think about this.

from:  L.Srinivasan
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 09:07 IST

Already these jewellers are swindling and looting the public wholesale. They charge melting charges of around 15% both during the buying of gold and selling of gold. The gullible public are simply keeping quite and shelling out the cash. This 'tax' anyway will be passed on to the customers. Why are they pretending to show concern for the end user. If they are that keen, let them bring down the charges as loss due to melting to a correct and practical level of 1 or 2 %. But this will hurt their unrealistic profits. The poor public on the other hand is currently paying a 'loss' of around 25% during a single exchange (sell then buy) transaction. Making this 27% will not hurt them at all. So, let these fraud jewellers cut down the drama. Let them take a serious estimate of the loss during melting and remaking. This will reduce the nett price of gold jewellery in India by around 20% atleast.

from:  vsrinivas
Posted on: Apr 7, 2012 at 17:15 IST

This is the biggest joke on the nation. All other products and services
including medicines, hospitalization, food including eating out,
educational aids & services are all taxed substantially and the jewelers
or its buyers cant pay tax!!!! Shame on a nation and its leaders who
offer comfort to the biggest channel of greed in the country.

from:  Raghavan
Posted on: Apr 7, 2012 at 13:54 IST

It's shows clear conspiracy by fm .... To divide the jewellers people unity and said they will
pass the resolution related to abolish excise duty on 11th may which is the last day of budget
session ... After showing the big thumb to the respected leaders like Anna hazare and Baba
Ramdev on not passing lokpal , who the individual have the faith in the character of the
central government ?? After 20 days of strike , if the strike continues for more 20 days then
the rule will abandoned automatically ....which the government is not willing ...

from:  Monik lodhia
Posted on: Apr 7, 2012 at 13:08 IST
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