Jewellers end 18-day strike, government assures no harassment by tax officials

Jewellers finally ended a nationwide strike after the government assured them they will not be harassed by the excise department in collecting a new 1 per cent excise duty proposed in the union budget.

The jewellers' body went on a strike after the government reintroduced the 1-percent excise duty on gold jewellery after four years.

Talking to media, Mohit Kamboj, president of India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA) said, "We have called off strike. From tomorrow (Monday) jewellers will open shops."

The government has assured the industry that the jewellers will face no harassment from the excise department, but the excise duty will stay.

At an eight-hour with the jewllers' body, IBJA, on Saturday, the government said it would set up a high-level task force headed by former chief economic adviser Ashok Lahiri to sort out procedural issues. The task force will have three industry representatives, a legal expert and Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) officials as its members.