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Jewellers hold Candle Protest March in Mumbai

Jewellers suffer Business Losses of 25-30% since January 1, 2016

January 18, 2016:  Millions of workers, artisans and small traders in the jewellery sector will be jobless, if the Government’s recent ruling of imposing PAN Card proof on purchase of Rs. 2 lakh and above is not withdrawn. It has also caused inconvenience to jewellery buyers. Worried under the sudden drop of 25-30% in business transactions, the agitated jewellers and various Gems & Jewellery Associations have chalked out a ‘protest programme’ across pan India to voice concern over the ongoing crisis situation in the industry. To start with, leading jewelers took out a candle protest march today (January 18) in Mumbai and across India.

Mr. Ashok Minawala representing the Jewellers Associations from Mumbai, said, “Our members and many of the jewellery Associations are on agitation path since they suffered losses of 25-30% in business transactions in last 15 days. The fall in business is a result of several factors which include the PAN card requirement from the customers buying jewellery of Rs. 2 lakh and above. We have taken representations to the Finance Minister and the Finance Secretary and urged them to make the PAN card mandatory on jewellery purchase of over Rs. 10 lakh instead of the present Rs. 2 lakh.”

Mr. Minawala added, “If the government does not take action, there will be protests in a major way. Things are not looking up and many of our associations are discussing on protest plan across the nation. The Pan Card restriction has discouraged a majority semi-urban and rural jewellery buyers, who are engaged either in farming (no income tax obligation) or in small trade practices. With just 22.3 crore PAN cards issued in India, how can the industry will survive with such restrictions?”

From January 1, 2016, PAN has been made mandatory for all transactions above Rs. 2 lakh in cash or through card in entire Gems & Jewellery sector. Such restriction of furnishing Pan Card for Rs. 2 lakh and above purchase of jewellery will discriminate 70-80% of the jewellery buyers in the country. Today, people buy jewellery items not only for their daily uses but also for essential purposes like festive and marriages.

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