The Hindu: “Agitating jewellers and bullion traders on Friday called on Congress president Sonia Gandhito press for their demand for
removal of excise duty on unbranded jewellery. “We today met Sonia Gandhi and requested her to tell the government to roll back excise duty on unbranded jewellery, reduce customs duty and lower TDS on sale of jewellery,” All India Swarankar Sangh President Madhukar Chachad told reporters after the meeting. Ms. Gandhi, he said, “has assured us that she will forward our demands to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee for further action”.
Ahead of the meeting of jewellers with Ms. Gandhi, the Congress had asked the government to look into the demands of jewellers, who have been agitating for more than a fortnight. “Congress has asked the government to consider the demand of jewellers sympathetically,” AICC General Secretary and media department chief Janardhan Dwivedi said. Bullion traders and jewellers are protesting since the presentation of the Budget which had imposed excise duty on unbranded jewellery, raised customs duty on gold and proposed TDS requirement on sale of on sale of jewellery.”
The purpose of the excise duty is to try and divert Indians from investing in ‘economically inactive’ gold into ‘proactive investiments’ such as stocks and shares or even property. If this works, India will stop being the world’s number 1 importer of gold and China will become number 1.