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Govt assures but jewellers get tax notices from excise dept

Gold jewellers and associations across the country ended their 18-day strike over the tax of 1% excise duty on gold jewellery, on late Saturday night after the government's word that they will not be hassled by the tax officials.

The government also guaranteed the jewellers that they will set up a three-member committee to address the concerns, which will give a report in the next 60 days.

However, a report by Business Standard says that despite this, some jewellers have already started receiving tax notices from the excise duty department.

As per the report, the tax notices demand jewellers to provide details of their balance sheets, details of turnover over the last two years, expected turnover for March 2016, copies of income tax, value added tax and sales returns for 2014-15 and 2015-16.

A jeweller, on condition of anonymity said in the report, "there's a huge disconnect between policy makers and the tax officials. We do not want inspector raj to return to the sector."

According to the report, the Central Board of Excise and Customs has directed that jewellers will not need to reveal their stocks to excise officials, who have also been asked not to stopover at jewellers to verify stock and records.

Jewellery associations, including All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF), India Bullion and Jewellers Association (IBJA) and Gems Jewellery Export Promotion Council had all made a call for a strike after the government levied 1% excise duty on non-silver jewellery.

In a release, the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said that the strike had caused losses of Rs 60-70,000 crore to the industry.