Jewellers end strike, get back to business

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Chennai, April 13 (IANS) It was business as usual for most jewellers on Wednesday after they called off their nationwide strike called to protest against the Centre’s budget proposal to impose one percent excise duty on non-silver jewellery, a top industry official said.

“Nearly 90 percent of the jewellers are back in business today (Wednesday). The strike was called off yesterday (Tuesday),” All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation director Ashok Minawala told IANS over phone from Mumbai.

According to him, the industry suffered an estimated Rs.50,000 crore loss in business due to the strike that began on March 2.

“The daily jewellery business across the country is around Rs.1,000 crore,” he said.

He said the government had agreed to simplify the excise rules so that the jewellery trade was not affected in a major way.

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“Things will be smooth if the excise duty process is simplified and without harassment from officials,” Minawala said.

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