PM cancels meet with jewellers: Strike slated to continue for next 90 days
Nagpur: The jewellers and artisans had requested a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on April 6, 2016, in order to request him to roll back the imposition of 1 per cent excise duty and mandatory quoting of PAN by customers for transaction of Rs 2 lakh and above.
However, at the last moment, the Prime Minister Narendra Modi had cancelled the meeting slated to be held in New Delhi.
While speaking to Nagpur Today, a visibly angry office-bearers of Gold Merchants’ Association, Sarafa Bazaar, Nagpur including Ravi Harde (President), Rajesh Katkoria (Secretary), Pankaj Bakari (Treasurer) and other active members including Chandrakant Armarkar and Rahul Jain told that the present government led by Bharatiya Janata Party has betrayed the Gold Jewellers, artisans, workers and employees of Jewellery shops due to government policies.
A large number of members of Sarafa Merchant’s Association of Hingna MIDC led by Secretary Pawan Rokde came to the city to join their fellow agitating jewelers in Sarafa Bazar, Itwari.
While speaking to Nagpur Today, the office bearers of Gold Merchants’ Association, Sarafa Bazaar, Nagpur and Sarafa Merchant’s Association of Hingna MIDC said that the time has come for the jewelers, artisans and employees of jewellery shops to go hungry or die of hunger. With the Gold Jewellery Trade Associations decision to continue to the strike for the next 90 days, the situation will certainly worsen. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley should reimburse the amount lost in the strike of last 35 days and the next 90 days.
The office bearers also claimed that if this continues, they may have to resort to aggressive protests like Rasta Roko andolan (block-road) and Jail Bharo andolan (fill jails). Some of the jewellery traders claimed that after Farmer’s Nagpur may soon hear even Jewellers committing suicide or self immolation. They claimed that their protest may assume the intensity similar to that of Jat Andolan.
Gudi Padwa and marriages without jewellery
Some of the office bearers claimed that the Maharashtrian festival is considered a very good time to buy gold and silver jewellery. However, this year, it is the first time that the jewellery shops will be closed. They added that the amount of financial loss that they are incurring is substantial. To add to that many good and favourable Mahurats (auspicious season or occassion) for marriages are there in this month. Many couple are slated to get married in this month. Unfortunately, the brides will have to go without gold jewellery.
Big players of jewellery doing brisk business on on-line trade
Even while all the jewellery traders and jewellery artisans are on strike, the big players are seen doing brisk business through on-line trade. Some of the big names are seen delivering gold jewellery to the rich and famous or even upper-middle-class people. People could log-into the web-sites selling gold jewellery and book it on-line and jewellery could get delivered to their door-steps. This is practically defeating the very purpose of this strike.