Upset with the government's decision making PAN card a must for transactions above Rs 2 lakh, the jewellery industry today said it will stage protest on January 18 across the country.
The government's move has led to a loss in business by 25-30 per cent in the first fortnight of this month alone, it said.
From January 1, permanent account number (PAN) has been made mandatory for all transactions above Rs 2 lakh in cash or through card for the entire gems and jewellery sector.
"Our members and many of the jewellery associations are on the agitation path since they suffered losses of 25-30 per cent in business transactions in the last 15 days," the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) G V Sreedhar said in a statement.
The agitated jewellers and associations have chalked out a 'protest programme' across the country to voice their concern over "the ongoing crisis situation" in the industry.
To start with, leading jewellers will take out a candle protest on January 18 across the country, GJF said. Stating that the fall in business is a result of several factors which include the PAN card requirement, Sreedhar said a representation has also been made to the Finance Ministry on this issue.
GJF Director Ashok Minawala said, "If the government does not take action, there will be protests in a major way. The PAN card restriction has discouraged a majority semi-urban and rural jewellery buyers, who are engaged either in farming (no income tax obligation) or in small trade practices."
He wondered: "With just 22.3 crore PAN cards issued across the country, how can the industry will survive with such restrictions?"