Indian Jewellers Go on 3-Day Strike from Today

Mumbai: All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF), with co-ordination and recommendation from All India Jewellery Associations announced that jewellers including manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers will go for three day closure of their business to protest against the Government’s proposals of imposing one per cent excise duty in jewellery sector.

Mr. G V Sreedhar GJF Chairman, said “We are compelled to take the decision of going for three days All India ‘Bandh’ of jewellery trade and manufacturing to protest against the excise duty which is damaging to the growth of industry. The proposed excise duty of 1% without input credit or 12.5% excise with input credit will create huge liabilities for small manufacturers, who employ unskilled day-to-day labour at large, the very  people  the government wishes to exempt. Excise was introduced and withdrawn in 2005 & 2012 when UPA Government realized it was impractical to impose Excise on a very large unorganized sector”.

Mr. Ashok Minawala, Past Chairman of GJF, said, “The Government has totally ignored our pre-budget representations and the nature of the industry and today we are left with no options but to go for 72 hours token strike. An average amount of Rs. 5000 crores worth of business will be lost by the industry, while the Govt. will lose revenue of 500 crores. Pan India all retail jewelers, manufacturers and wholesalers have decided to join the strike expressing their anguish over the government apathy towards the industry which had earlier declared it as a thrust area for job creation of 1 lakh people PA through Make in India initiative. With such policies, the industry will not survive.”

The sugar coated guidelines which mention simplified processes are not digestible by the Gems & Jewellery industry. The industry is averse to Excise and not to the 1% demanded and has expressed this so many times earlier, irrespectively that Excise cannot be levied on this industry. The Govt. needs to understand, that they are putting the lives of 6 crore people attached to the industry at stake.

GJF is a national trade federation established for the promotion and growth of gems and jewellery trade across India. It represents over 6,00,000 players comprising manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, distributors, laboratories, gemologists, designers and allied services to the domestic Gems & Jewellery industry. The domestic industry is estimated to be in the region of Rs. 3.15 lakh crores with the potential to grow to Rs. 5 lakh crore by 2018. The Federation’s mission is to support and promote the progress and prosperity of all members in the gems and jewellery industry across India.