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Pranab to meet jewellers' associations today


Sonal Joshi,CNN-IBN
Apr 05, 2012 at 07:45am IST

Mumbai: Amid widespread protests by bullion traders, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee has called a meeting with jewellers' associations on Friday to sort out the issue related to increase in taxes on gold and non-branded jewellery.

Protests against the Budget proposal to impose excised duty on jewellery have turned violent in Mumbai, Ahmedabad, Punjab and Delhi. The jewellers' associations which includes the Bullion Traders Association, Market Sarafa Association and diamond traders have been on strike for the last 18 days now.

"We protested with rage today because govt is not noticing our problem. Our businesses is getting ruined," a protester said.

Mukherjee had on March 16 proposed a 1 per cent excise duty on all unbranded jewellery and doubled the import duty to 4 per cent on gold. He also announced TDS of 1 per cent on any purchase of jewellery above Rs 2 lakh. Protestors say this will seriously hit profits.

"We want government to roll back excise duty," a protester said.

Agitation which is causing an estimated loss of about Rs 1000 crore a day may end soon as Mukherjee has called a meeting with the representatives on Friday to sort out the issue.

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