On February 10, the entire country saw jewellery shops downing their shutters in a token strike to protest against the Centre’s new norm making PAN mandatory for any purchase of jewellery worth Rupees Two lakhs or more from January 1.
Since Tamil Nadu and Puducherry could not join in the protest taken out by their counterparts in the rest of the country on the same day, they did so on February 11 to declare their solidarity too, for the said cause.
Arun Kumar of Kirtilal Jewellers sounded optimistic about the Union government responding positively to their demand. He hoped that the Centre would see reason and withdraw the controversial clause which had hit the jewellery business real hard since the beginning of the new year.
The centre had brought in the new norm to curb the menace of black money.
Chairman of Gem and Jewellery Trade Federation N Anantha Padmanabhan had earlier 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.
He 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.