New Delhi, April 5 (IANS) A group of jewellers led by Rashtriya Janata Dal leader Lalu Prasad met Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee Thursday to press their demand to roll back the one percent excise duty imposed on unbranded jewellery and the hike in import duties.
Talking to reporters after the meeting at the finance minister’s North Block office, Lalu Prasad said the jewellers’ demands were legitimate and the government should roll back the duties.
“The finance minister has assured that the jewellers will not be harassed. He has promised help,” Lalu Prasad said.
Jewellers across the country have been striking ever since the finance minister in the Union Budget March 16 proposed to levy one percent excise duty on unbranded jewellery and doubling the import duty to 4 percent on gold.
The jewellers’ strike entered its twentieth day Thursday.
President of Delhi Bullion and Jewellers Welfare Association Vimal Goel said representatives of jewellers associations from different states will meet the finance minister Friday and chalk out future strategy after that.
The finance ministry has asked all the jewellery associations to name two representatives each for the talks.