Protesting against slapping of additional tax on gold in the general budget presented by the Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee on Friday, over 900 jewellery shops in Krishnagiri and Dharmapuri district downed their shutters for three days from Saturday as per the announcement of the strike call given by the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation.

Union Finance Minister, in the budget presented on Friday, has proposed increase in excise duty on unbranded precious jewellery, and doubled the customs duty on standard gold and platinum from two per cent to four per cent.

Mr. R. Vijay Anand, District Secretary, Krishnagiri District Jewellers Association told The Hindu that over 470 small, medium and large shops closed their shutters as per the strike call given by the state office of the association.

Due to the strike, the jewellers will lose Rs. 2 to Rs. 3 crores of business in the district. The additional tax levied by the union government will reduce further purchasing power of the people, he adds. This will automatically cut down our business considerably, he opined.

“Gold has always been high value product and sale of gold jewellery has been declining because of the cost. Small and medium jewellers will have to shut the business with the imposition of new taxes,” he adds.

The next course of action would be initiated as per the announcement of the state unit of the association, he said.

About 437 small and big jewellery shops in Dharmapuri district also shut down their shops for three days from Saturday.