Chennai, March 18 (IANS) Jewellery shops in Tamil Nadu have started functioning but there is no internal division within the industry and the indefinite strike against excise duty on products will continue till the government heeds their demand, said senior officials of a trade association.
"Except in Tamil Nadu, the trade is on strike in other southern states like Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. In south, there are large players," All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) director Ashok Minawala told IANS.
"They are operating in a corporate set up with big showrooms wherethe overheads are high and has to be met," said Challani, who is also president of the Madras Jewellers and Diamond Merchants Association.
He said the industry in north is strongly againt the central government's decision to impose excise duty.
The gems and jewellery industry is on indefinite strike since March 2 in protest against the central government's decision to inpose excise duty.
However both the officials stress that there is no internal division in GJF on the issue of big shops doing business in Tamil Nadu.
Jewellery shops in Tamil Nadu are operating since Thursday afternoon.
According to Minawala, the industry has lost around Rs.20,000 crore of business due to the strike.
"The strike will continue till the government discusses the issue with us and take suitable action. We have made several suggestions on the issue," he said.
Minawala said the strike will affect the exports and also bigger players with chain of showrooms would start feeling the pinch when the supplies dry out.
Meanwhile the central government on Friday said representatives of the jewellery industry met the revenue secretary and chairman, Central Board of Excise and Customs on March 17 to discuss the issue.
According to the government at the meeting, it was clarified that in case of jewellery manufactured on job work basis, the liability to take registration, pay duty and to file return is on the principal manufacturer and not on the job worker.
Further, exemption from excise duty up to the clearance limit of Rs.6 crore is available to a jewellery manufacturer if his aggregate value of domestic clearances is less than Rs.12 crore in the preceding financial year.
Artisans and job-workers are not covered within the ambit of this duty and thus they are not required to take registration, pay duty, file returns and maintain any books of account.
A jewellery manufacturer having turnover less than Rs. 12 crore during the preceding financial year and less than Rs. 6 crore in the current financial year is not required to take registration and file return.
Application for excise registration as well as returns can be filled online.
Directions have been issued to the field formations to provide hassle free registration within two working days. There will be no post registration physical verification of the jeweller's premises.
There is no requirement of declaring pre-budget stocks. Directions have also been issued barring any visits to the jeweller's premises.
Jeweller's private records or his records for state value added tax or for Bureau of Indian Standards (in the case of hallmarked jewellery) would be accepted for all central excise purposes.