Economy

Jewellers strike: Rs 6,300 cr business hit in Tamil Nadu, Puducherry

PTI Chennai | Updated on January 20, 2018 Published on March 21, 2016

Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are home to about 36,000 showrooms. File Photo   -  The Hindu

The decision to call off the strike was taken on Saturday after the government assured jewellers that there will be no harassment by excise officials.

A section of jewellers in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have reopened their showrooms after the Centre assured them that there will be no harassment by excise officials.

“We have opened the showrooms from yesterday. Almost all the showrooms are functioning now,” All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation Regional Chairman, N Anantha Padmanabhan said.

Officials at the Madras Jewellers and Diamond Merchants’ Association (MJDMA), representing the traders’ body, said the strike has been withdrawn and the stores were operating “one hundred per cent as we speak”.

“We have called off the strike after Government’s intervention. We opened our showrooms yesterday and as of now 100 per cent stores are operating..,” MJDMA President, Jayanthilal Challani told PTI.

Tamil Nadu and Puducherry are home to about 36,000 showrooms and the jewellery sector in these two places has about eight to 10 lakh employees.

On the impact of strike, he said, “normally, about Rs 350 crore worth of business is done per day in the region. The strike was on for 18 days. So, Rs 6,300 crore business has got affected”.

According to Gems and Jewellery Federation Chairman G V Sreedhar, the decision to call off the strike was taken on Saturday after the government assured jewellers that there will be no harassment by excise officials and no ‘inspector raj’.

The decision was taken unanimously by major jewellery associations, including GJF, India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA) and Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, after meeting Finance Minister Arun Jaitley regarding the proposed 1 per cent excise duty on non-silver jewellery.

Jewellers are also opposed to the mandatory quoting of PAN by customers for transactions of Rs 2 lakh and above.

A three-member committee, headed by former Chief Economic Adviser at the Ministry of Finance and Company Affairs Ashok Lahiri, has been constituted to look into the issues and find a solution.

Most jewellery shops and establishments in Delhi and Mumbai also remained shut today.

Published on March 21, 2016

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