New Delhi: Amid widespread protests by jewellers against an increase in import duty on gold and excise duty on unbranded jewellery, All India Congress Committee (AICC) General Secretary on Friday said that the central government is considering to solve their demands sympathetically.

"The central government is considering the demand of jewellers sympathetically," AICC General Secretary and media department chief Janardhan Dwivedi said.

The jewellers protested against an increase in import duty on gold and excise duty on unbranded jewellery in this year’s budget. 

Dwivedi's statement came ahead of a meeting of a delegation of jewellers with Congress President Sonia Gandhi here.

Representatives of jewellery manufactures from major cities are also scheduled to meet Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee.

Jewellers in various parts of the country have been on a strike since March 17 to protest the hike in import duty on gold and imposition of excise duty on unbranded jewellery. The proposal was announced during Mukherjee's Budget speech for 2012-13.

Delhi Jewellers and Goldsmith Association President Ram Avtar Verma had said yesterday that jewellers will decide on whether to end the strike or not after meeting the Finance Minister.

(JPN/Agencies)