Scores of gold and jewellery traders on Tuesday staged a protest in front of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) headquarters here, against the budgetary proposal to impose one percent excise duty on non-silver jewellery. "Jewellers from all over the country have assembled here to protest against the proposed hike of one percent on jewellery by Arun Jaitley, we demand it to be rolled back," Vijay Bagga, one of the protestor told ANI.
When asked as to why the traders were protesting even as the government set up a panel to look into their demand, Bagga said "the government was misleading the jeweller community, as there has been no roll back in the proposed hike adding that they have been protesting since past 28 days and facing the police brutalities."
The protestors climbed the barricades put up by the Delhi police and raised slogans against Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and his government. The traders also held placards condemning the proposed hike in the excise duty. Meanwhile, Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal who earlier wrote to his counterparts urging them to join him in requesting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to roll-back the one percent hike in excise duty on jewellery, has said he would meet President Pranab Mukherjee in this regard.
"Meeting Hon'ble Prez today with representatives of jewellers to discuss the issue of excise on jewelers," Kejriwal said on twitter. Jewellers across the country have been on strike since March 2 demanding its repeal.