Excise duty on gold jewellery rolled back
Moneylife Digital Team 07 May 2012

Gold jewellers and traders were on 22 days strike from 17th March, demanding roll back in the excise duty.

After much deliberation the finance ministry has rolled back excise duty imposed branded and unbranded gold jewellery announced in the union budget. The decision has gone down well with the jewellers association who were on indefinite strike post the announcement.

In a statement, the Confederation of All India Traders (CAIT) and The Delhi Bullion & Jewellers Association have welcomed the move. "The step taken by the finance minister is a step forward to mitigate genuine problems of the lakhs of traders of jewellery in the country and also crores of other people who are dependent upon jewellery trade for their livelihood," says Praveen Khandelwal, CAIT secretary general and Vimal Goel, president, DBJA.

Pranab Mukherjee in his budget proposals on 16 March 2012 announced 1% levy on unbranded jewellery and doubling of import duty to 4% on gold. Today, while discussing Finance Bill 2012 in the Parliament, he announced that, "the Government has decided to withdraw the levy on all precious metal jewellery, branded or unbranded, with effect from 17th March, 2012."

Gold jewellers and traders were on 22 days strike from 17th March, demanding roll back in the excise duty. Traders estimated to have lost Rs20,000 crore due to the strike which began on 17th March after presentation of the Budget on the previous day. According to the traders, such announcement would subject to the harassment of excise department. Further, they said that already trade number taxes such Custom Duty, VAT, and few other indirect taxes.

The strike was called backed on April 06 after bullion traders and jewellers after they met united Progressive Alliance (UPA) Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee who assured them that their demand for rollback of excise duty on unbranded jewellery would be considered.

"With Goods and Service Tax (GST) round the corner, the Government is under obligation to simplify and rationalise the taxation system to best possible extent in order to ensure smooth transformation from VAT, Excise, and Service Tax to GST regime," CAIT said in a statement.

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