Jewellery shops in the city were shut on Saturday as part of the three-day protest by shop owners in protest against the hike in customs duty and introduction of excise duty on non-branded jewellery in the budget.
In the budget it was proposed to hike duty on gold imports from the existing two per cent to four per cent, besides levying excise duty of one per cent on jewellery. With escalating gold prices, the jewellery business is already affected and the proposed hike in duties will adversely affect the business further, lamented a shop owner at Abids, which is a hub for jewellery shops in the city.
Though few jewellery shops were opened at Panjagutta and other areas in the city in the morning, all the shop remained closed in the evening. A gold shop owner in Panjagutta said it was decided to close the shops till Monday until the government re-considers it plans.
The move to hike duty comes as a double blow. While, customers would have to shell extra cost on the jewellery, government department authorities would take undue advantage of this and harass shop owners in the name collecting duties, he said.
“More importantly, in an effort to avoid duty, shop owners would be forced to indulge in illegal imports rather purchasing from banks,” he added.