Nagpur: Sarafa Merchants of Nagpur city took out a massive Motorcycle rally to register their protest against the 1% additional Excise Duty levied on gold jewellery on April 1, 2016.
The agitation started soon after the Union Budget was presented by Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, jewellers in the city downed shutters with a demand to rollback the 1% additional Excise Duty levied on gold jewellery.
With pro-active support from all jewelers pan India, Sarafa Merchants from Nagpur too decided to go on an indefinite strike and stage several rallies, protest marches, selling vegetables, tea, handing over the keys of their business establishments to the Finance Minister etc.
Some of the office-bearers of Gold Merchants’ Association, while speaking to Nagpur Today said that around 8000 people participated in this Motorcycle Rally taken out by Sarafa Merchants. The participants include Jewellery Shop Owners, employees working in Jewellery Shops, skilled jewellery workers and artisans.
The route followed by the massive Motorcycle rally started from Dharam Kanta-Itwari Sarafa Bazaar and went to Gandhi Putla, then to Walker Road to Subhash Road-Cotton Market to Rani Jhansi Square to Dharampeth to Collector’s Office to Sadar to Hansapuri to Shahid Square and back to Sarafa Bazaar.
While speaking exclusively with Nagpur Today, one office-bearers of Gold Merchants’ Association Chandrakant Armarkar said that the jewelers are irked with the 1% additional Excise Duty levied on gold jewellery. He went on to say that nearly 5 crore jewelers (all over India) and allied workers are dependent on this trade. He claimed that 99% of the jewelers were permanent and hardcore pro-BJP voters. However, now they feel that Bharatiya Janata Party led Government has cheated them of their livelihood, career and their life too.
He went on to say that the BJP government would have to face the brunt of this back-stabbing act in the upcoming elections in 5 states including West Bengal, Assam, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Pondicheri. The jewelers and allied traders will show their displeasure against the BJP through their votes.
The office-bearers of Gold Merchants’ Association also claimed that Aam Admi Party and Nationalist Congress Party have lent support to our cause.