Nagpur: Varied reactions to Union Budget continues to pour in with two more prominent businessmen expressing divergent views.
A jeweller Rajesh Rokde says, “The Budget has disappointed the gold industry as 1 per cent excise duty has been imposed on gold and diamond jewellery. We are going to oppose this move of the Government as the industry is again going to be the victim of Inspector Raj.
The imposing of 1 percent Excise Duty will render around one crore goldsmiths jobless. The gold industry will talk to government and urge it roll back the Excise Duty and spare this ‘golden industry.’
This type of levy will motivate to do unlawful business and this will not be good to our country. The Government must have involved us before making such type of levy like the Excise Duty. Now, one more department will hassle our industry no end.”
Disappointed with the Union Budget 2016-17, the All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) is planning to go on strike after deliberations with jewellers’ associations. The industry is unhappy with the government’s proposal to re-impose 1% Excise Duty in the Budget 2016.
Meanwhile, all jewellers associations in Kerala have gone on strike from Tuesday. “We have called a meeting with all jewellers associations across the country and will take a call on going on strike,” GJF Chairman Sreedhar G V said.
“The entire industry is disappointed with the Government’s apathy towards the gems and jewellery sector. We were already facing challenges after the government’s decision in January to make PAN cards mandatory for any transactions of Rs 2 lakh and above,” he said.
Even after giving representations to the Finance Minister and explaining challenges that the sector is facing, the government has not done anything to boost the industry, he said. The industry, one of the highest employment providers, is already struggling to survive with small jewellers shutting shops and artisans losing jobs.
In 2005 and 2012, the government had introduced 1% Excise Duty in the sector, but had to withdraw it as it was not feasible, he pointed out.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Monday had proposed 1% Excise Duty on jewellery without input credit or 12.5% with input tax credit on jewellery excluding silver other than those studded with diamonds and precious stones.
Businessman Shankar Mehadia, in his reaction said, “In the long run the Union Budget seems to be the balanced Budget.
Announcements for farmers, infrastructure and certain sectors are visionary. However for the common man, it is disappointing. No major relief. Relief in income tax. Increase in service tax will make many things costlier.
Increase in Excise Duty on cars, garments is big disappointment for the industry. No major actions to tackle inflation.”