Native Gold Traders on Strike
India: The All India Gems and Jewelry Trade Federation (AIGFTF) called for a 3-day strike with native gold
dealers after the finance minister, Pranab Mukherjee, announced the Budget 2012 in the Parliament. The finance minister proposed a one percent excise duty increase for gold, which didn’t go down well with the
native gold traders.
Following this, the cloth merchants too called for a strike to protest the 5% VAT applied by the state government on clothes. Commenting the strike by AIGFTF, Hari Narayan Goel, the Sarafa Association Chowk President commented, "Previously customs duty was 1% which was doubled in January this year. Now, again the Union Budget proposes to raise it to 4 %. While customs duty is at point of import, the excise duty of 1% would affect every trader.”
A member of the AIGFTF further said that the new excise duty will affect the small traders of gold in a big way while the big players will benefit. This will be a “death knell to small businesses”. The traders dealing in gold metal products have stated that until the increase in excise duty is called off, the strike will continue. The same terms have been laid down by the cloth merchant protestors as well.
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