Jewellers stage rally at Vashi, ` 300 crore loss due to strike

Hindustan Times ST (Mumbai) - HT Navi Mumbai Live - - HTNAVIMUMBAI - G Mo­hi­ud­din Jeddy ht­for­nav­i­mum­bai@hin­dus­tan­times.com

VASHI: The strike called by All In­dia Gems and Jew­ellery Fed­er­a­tion to protest the 1% ex­cise duty on gold jew­ellery has re­ceived strong sup­port in Navi Mum­bai. Ini­tially called for just three days, the strike has been now on for 11 days.

Jewellers of Navi Mum­bai, Pan­vel and Uran held a com­bined mas­sive rally in Vashi on Satur­day to protest the de­ci­sion of the govern­ment.

Around 2,000 jewellers from 15 nodes par­tic­i­pa­tex in the rally that started from Joy­lukas jew­ellery shop in sec­tor 30A and made its way via Shivaji Chowk to MG Com­plex. They were sup­ported by var­i­ous NCP lead­ers.

Jewellers said the strike since March 2 has led to a busi­ness loss of al­most Rs300 crore in the city.

As­so­ci­a­tion pres­i­dent Lalit Bager­cha said, “We are not against pay­ing tax but are op­posed to in­spec­tor raj that is be­ing heaped on us. If our de­mand is not met, our ag­i­ta­tion will con­tinue.”

Raju Raj Puro­hit, a leader of the jewellers, said: “Modi had him­self said that the poor in­vest in gold for the education of their kids and hos­pi­tal ex­penses. The is­sue is very con­nected to the com­mon man in the coun­try.” CUS­TOMERS STUCK

Sev­eral cus­tomers who have given or­ders for jew­ellery for mar­riages etc. are stuck. Said Prachi Chi­tale, whose daugh­ter is to be mar­ried, “I was to get de­liv­ery of the jew­ellery this week, but the shop has been shut for days. My jew­eller said he can do lit­tle as all work has come to a stand­still.”

There are how­ever, re­ports of some work­ers work­ing be­hind closed doors and de­liv­er­ing the or­der.

Nilesh De­sai, a Kopar Khairane res­i­dent, said: “My jew­eller called me up and asked me to knock on the shut­ter to take de­liv­ery of the ring that I had or­dered. The de­liv­ery was de­layed by a few days, but I man­aged to get it.”

Res­i­dents are also fac­ing dif­fi­culty in mort­gag­ing their jew­ellery.

BACHCHAN KU­MAR

Jewellers protest in Vashi on Satur­day.

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