Excise duty on unbranded jewellery: TMC slams govt

Arch rivals TMC and CPM joined hands in the Rajya Sabha in slamming the Centre for failing to resolve the issue on excise duty on unbranded jewellery.

New Delhi: Arch rivals Trinamool Congress and CPI-M on Friday joined hands in the Rajya Sabha in slamming the Centre for failing to resolve the issue of strike by bullion traders and jewellers against imposition of excise duty on unbranded jewellery.

Raising the issue during the Zero Hour, D Bandopadhyay of
Trinamool Congress said prices of gold in India would go up if
the strike continues and it will encourage smuggling of the
yellow metal, a contention which was also supported by BJP,
BSP, BJD and AIADMK members.

"Excise duty hike of 4 per cent has affected traders
especially goldsmiths. They are facing problems and had to
resort to strike," Bandopadhyay said.

He lamented that "the government has not been able to
proactively intervene" to resolve the matter even as 1.5 crore
people are involved in the trade.

He said Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee did respond to
the issue but his concession is "too little, too late" to
resolve it.

Joining him Tapan Sen (CPI-M) charged the government with
remaining an "onlooker" as the strike entered the 14th day

S S Ahluwalia (BJP) said that goldsmith shops are closed
in all cities including Delhi and Mumbai and everyone is
suffering. "Gold means security of the country," he said.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Rajiv Shukla
intervened and said the members should wait for the Finance
Bill to come as Mukherjee has already promised to "work out

"We can bring amendment in the Finance Bill...in between
you cannot do anything...It has to come through legislative
route. Finance Bill is the only way," he said.