New Delhi: Bullion and jewellery traders in several parts of the country, including Delhi and Mumbai on Saturday downed shutters for three days in protest against the Budget proposal to raise duty on gold imports and levying excise on unbranded jewellery.
    
Most of the bullion markets and jewellery showrooms remained closed in major cities, President of the All India Sarafa Association, Sheel Chand Jain said.
    
"Most of the jewellery showrooms are closed," he said. Jain said the association has also written a letter to Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee demanding roll-back of these proposals.
    
"The proposed increase in import duty will lead to unchecked smuggling of the metal. This increase of import duty should be withdrawn in the larger interest of the trade and consumers," the letter said.
    
The basic customs duty on standard gold bar, gold coins of purity exceeding 99.5 percent and platinum would be increased from 2 percent to 4 percent.
    
Besides, non-branded jewellery has also been under the ambit of excise net of 1 percent.
    
"Manufacturers and dealers of gold jewellery all over India are agitated," Jain said.

(Agenices)