The protest is against the imposition of excise duty.
Jewellers and jewellery associations across India have unanimously called for a total bandh of all jewellery establishments on Saturday, March 17. The bandh may also be extended to March 18 and 19, based on joint decisions.
The bandh has been called for in protest of the imposition of excise duty proposed across the whole sector in the Union Budget 2012. The industry has decided to represent to the Finance Minister, Pranab Mukherjee, their displeasure over the imposition of what they say was the control measure that actually killed the sector between 1962 and 1992.
According to the industry, the imposition of excise duty on jewellery will shake the millions of self employed skilled artisans, who do not have any alternate means of livelihood. The industry was struggling from the after effects of the 2008 recession and the decision of the Finance Minister is enough to break the backbone of the industry. To increase the import duty on a commodity like gold over four times is not a wise decision. Other provisions in income tax, especially for the gems and jewellery industry, are not called for.
The industry will remain closed on Saturday in a show of solidarity and commitment to oppose this imposition of excise duty on the sector.