Upping the ante even further, jewellers from Gujarat who are playing a pivotal role in the ongoing nationwide jewellers’ strike, have raised demands for a transaction tax to be imposed in lieu of the one percent excise duty proposed in the Union Budget 2016.
“To earn its revenue, the government can levy a transaction tax on jewellery traders instead of the proposed excise duty. Traders will be able to maintain audited accounts of transactions”, said Bharat Soni, a core member of Gujarat Jewellers Association (GJA).
“Imposing the transaction tax is among the alternative suggestions we have made to the finance ministry. The government has said excise duty is being levied to deal with the black money menace. We have also suggested that all transactions of raw gold will occur only through cheques and PAN cards, thus allowing for maintenance of records”, Soni said.
Jewellers have already expressed their willingness to pay any other tax the government wishes to impose, except revenue. “We have nothing against paying taxes. We just do not want the excise duty imposed”, said Shantibhai Patel, president of Gem and Jewellery Trade Council of India.