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Jewelers Call Off 21 Day Strike

Angry and agitating jewelers and bullion traders on Friday called off for strike after meeting Congress president Sonia Gandhi and finance minister Pranab Mukherjee. It is a 21 day strike and the jewelers were on striking demanding roll back in hike on excise duty on gold and non-branded jewelry. Earlier, jewelers met Sonia Gandhi and Pranab mukherjee who assured them that their demands will be met but the latest meeting did not added results in favor of the jewelers. All India Swarankar Sangh President Madhukar Chachad told reporters after the meeting "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," according to the latest reports, ahead of the meeting of jewelers with Gandhi, the congress had asked the government to look into the demands of jewelers who have been agitating for more than a fortnight. Various jewelers associations, including Bullion Traders Association, Market Sarafa Association, and diamond traders have been on strike since March 17. Mukherjee in his Budget for 2012-13 had imposed 1% excise duty on all unbranded jewellery and doubled the import duty to 4% on gold. He also announced that quoting of PAN card would be mandatory for purchase of jewellery worth more than Rs 2 lakh.

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