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