Congress Vice President Rahul Gandhi met the jewellers at Jantar Mantar on Wednesday and joined them in their protest for withdrawal of the excise duty on jewellery. They are protesting against the Centre’s excise duty proposal.
All the representatives of the jewellers associations across the country have been holding their protest at Jantar Mantar, which is against the excise duty which is imposed by the Union Budget 2016-17.
Rahul also met the jewellers earlier on March 11. The jewelers from all the parts of the country, be it Delhi, Mumbai and Kolkata have closed their shops and are not working for the past one month as a sign of protest. Gandhi said to the protesting jewellers, “I am not here to make speeches. I feel your pain. I stand with you.”
Meanwhile during the protest, he also got a chance to blame the Modi government for the protest. He said, “When Modiji released Make In India logo, I wondered why it was a babbar sher and not a charkha which was Mahatma Gandhiji’s idea for Make In India. Later, I realized the reason for the babbar sher logo as Make In India initiative was meant to help industrialists and corporates go.”
Surinder Kumar Jain, Vice President of the All India Sarafa Association, also said that the industry is in a great loss as there is a strike going on and they are not working. He further added that this has affected the artisans and the labourers as this for them is their bread and butter, and this strike has made things difficult for them.
The Centre has approved of a panel who will look into the matter. The panel has been asked to submit the report within the next 60 days. They will be looking into the matter deeply and then will be submitting a report soon. The panel will be working under the Chief Economic Advisor Ashok Lahiri who will look into the demand made by the jewellers.
The jewellers will be soon meeting the Prime Minister to demand a rollback of the same. Though they have not finalized the time for the meeting.
The government, in its budget, has proposed one percent of the excise duty on jewellery without any input credit on jewellery excluding the silver.