New Delhi: In a bid to calm the frayed nerves of jewellers agitating against imposition of 1 percent excise duty, the finance ministry today said artisans and job workers will not have to pay this levy.
Following a meeting of representatives of jewellery industry with the revenue secretary, the finance ministry said: "Artisans and job workers are not covered (by )this duty and thus they are not required to take registration, pay duty, file returns and maintain any books of account."
In case the jewellery is manufactured on job work basis, the liability to take registration, pay duty and file return is on the principal manufacturer and not on the job worker, the release said.
Gold traders and jewellers continued their strike for the 17th day today in protest against the 1 percent excise duty on non-silver jewellery announced in the Budget.
It imposed a nominal excise duty of 1 percent (without input tax credit) and 12.5 percent (with input tax credit) on articles of jewellery.
In their meeting with Revenue Secretary Hasmukh Adhia yesterday, the jewellery industry representatives contended that re-imposition of levy will bring back the regime of the erstwhile Gold Control Act leading to harassment of jewellers, especially artisans and small goldsmiths.
They are also worried that the levy would bring back the days of inspector raj and demanded that the exemption limit be increased to Rs 10 crore from Rs 6 crore in a year.
The ministry clarified that the exemption of excise duty up to the clearance limit of Rs 6 crore will be available to a jewellery manufacturer if his aggregate value of domestic clearances is less than Rs 12 crore in the preceding financial year.
"A jewellery manufacturer having a turnover less than Rs 12 crore during the preceding financial year and less than Rs 6 crore in the current financial year is not required to take registration and file return," the ministry said.
It said the application for excise registration as well as returns can be filed online and field officers will provide hassle-free registration within two working days.
There will be no post-registration physical verification of the jeweller's premises and no requirement of declaring pre-Budget stocks.
Jewellers' private records or their records for state VAT or for Bureau of Indian Standards (in the case of hallmarked jewellery) will be accepted for all central excise purposes, the ministry added.