Jaipur– With jewellers across the country on strike since March 2 on imposition of excise tax on jewellery, the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) on Friday urged the central government to withdraw the measure.

Jewelerry-exportThe apex body of the gems and jewellery industry which presently represents over 6,000 exporters in the sector, said the imposition of one percent excise duty on jewellery (other than plain silver jewellery) imposed in the union budget 2016-17 is not in the industry’s interest.

“We strongly urge the finance minister to reconsider the withdrawal of levy of excise on jewellery products. The imposition of excise would severely impact jewellery production in India resulting in loss of employment to the uneducated but skilled jewellery workers,” said GJEPC chairman Praveenshankar Pandya at a press conference here.

“Jewellery in the country is largely produced by the SMEs and they are not equipped to follow the rigid compliance of excise norms..

“We morally support the stand taken by GJF and other industry associations but we do not want to go on strike as a protest against this announcement as we believe in engaging with the Union government with constructive dialogue to persuade them to repeal the same,” he added.

Meanwhile, the GJEPC will host the ‘India Gem & Jewellery Awards (IGJA)’ 2015 that recognises and rewards star performers of the Indian gem and jewellery sector here on Saturday. Union Power Minister Piyush Goyal and Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje are expected to attend.

A total of 32 nomination awards and 5 felicitation awards will be given away at GJEPC-IGJA 2015.