The Indian jewelry industry is estimated to be losing $150 million per day, as strike action to protest the government’s proposed 1-percent levy on jewelry goes into its second week, according to Bloomberg.
All India Gems and Jewelry Trade Federation (GJF) director Bachhraj Bamalwaannounced that shops will remain closed until the government assures jewelers that it will rescind the proposed taxation. Bloomberg reported that protesters at India’s biggest gold market, Zaveri Bazaar in Mumbai, gathered in large numbers and wore white cloth caps with the slogan “Roll-back Excise” written in Hindi and English.
The government’s proposal was intended to boost revenue from the gem and jewelry industry, but it has met fierce protest due to the burden it is expected to place on small- and medium-sized businesses. The strike also means that Indian jewelers are missing an opportunity due to the rally of gold prices since the start of the year.
“Our stores are closed but we are not sitting idle,” Bamalwa said. “Every day we gather to protest the tax and we are ready to bear the losses as we are absolutely against it. We fear this tax is going to harm the industry and affect the livelihood of all artisans and manufacturers.”