Jewelers in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry have decided to go on a one-day token strike on February 11 in protest against the Centreās decision making PAN mandatory for purchase of jewelery worth Rs two lakh and above.
Announcing this here today, Zonal Chairman of Gem and Jewelery Trade Federation N Anantha Padmanabhan told reporters the new norm which came into effect from January 1, had already resulted in 30 per cent loss in their business with expected job loss.
"The industry has about one crore employees, whereas in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry alone about seven lakh employees are working in it. Already 30 per cent of our business has been impacted due to the government decision," he said.
Stating that the trade body and its zonal units across the country staged a candlelight vigil last week demanding a rollback of the measure, Padmanabhan said they would further intensify the agitation after the presentation of the Union Budget.
"To begin with, we will hold a token strike on February 11 and all the 36,000 traders in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will shut shops. We want the government to hear our views. If not, we will further intensify our protest after the budget session," he said.
The Zonal Chairman said the revenue to the government would also be affected because of drop in bullion business in the wake of the new rule, which was brought in by the government as part of measures to curb black money.
"Second, customers would seek to sell the jewels without bill (as they need to provide PAN card) and there will be a spurt in sale of gold in grey market," he said.
"This industry was largely unorganised about 10 years ago. But today about 90 per cent of it is organised. But with the government's directive it will go back to its previous stage," he claimed.