Jewellers in India call off three-week strike

Jewellers in India went on strike for nearly three weeks. (Getty Images)

Discussions with government open up but jewellers £245m out of pocket.

Jewellers in India have called off a strike after three weeks of protests against a proposed tax hike.

The jewellers have stood down following assurances from the country’s finance minister Pranab Mukherjee that the Indian government will consider dropping its proposal to add an excise tax of 0.3% on unbranded jewellery worth more than 200,000 rupees (£2,460).

The main reason behind the strike was the inclusion of smaller jewellers and goldsmiths in the excise tax; previously only larger companies were included in this tax. The government has said that it will consider excluding smaller companies from this tax, even if the companies are suppliers to larger businesses.

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Both the All-India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation and the Mumbai Jewellers’ Association have advised members to end strikes and reopen stores.

It is estimated that the strikes have cost the Indian jewellery industry 200 billion rupees (£245.9m), however the strikes have had a timely ending with two weeks to go until Akshaya Tritiya festival, one of the biggest gold-buying events in the Indian calendar.

To see photographs from the jewellery strikes in India click here.

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