Following a meeting of various jewelers associations’ representatives and senior government ministers in New Delhi, the 42-day long jewelers strike has officially ended, according to a report in The Times of India.
Jewelers were expected to reopen their stores [Wednesday, the 13th], with Gujarat Jewelers Association (GJA) spokesman Ashish Zaveri confirming the development and claiming that the government had acceded to around 70 percent of the jewelers’ demands.
Last week witnessed the formation of the All India Jewelers Excise Action Committee (AIJEAC), designed to push jewelers’ demands and pressure the government, including the presentation of a memorandum to several Union ministers, spelling out their demands.
More than 50,000 jewelers in Gujarat alone had protested the government’s plans to impose a 1 percent excise duty on all-but silver jewelry since March 2. Jewelers also demonstrated against the imposition of the PAN card requirements, which required the use a permanent account number code that acts as identification of Indians, especially those who pay income tax) for any transaction of Rs 200,000 ($3,014) and above.
Other regions in India including Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan called off the strike on Monday, and after most jewelers had, according to insiders, reconciled to the fact that the government would not roll back the excise duty.