Coal Minister Jaiswal slams finance ministry over jewellery excise duty hike

   Mar 26, 7:29 pm

Kanpur, Mar.26 (ANI): Union Coal Minister Sriprakash Jaiswal has criticised the Ministry of Finance's decision to raise the excise duty hike on jewellery announced in this year's budget.

Jaiswal made the comments while addressing jewellers in Kanpur, Uttar Pradesh, on Monday, and likened certain government departments to blood-sucking mosquitoes.

"The way mosquitoes suck blood during the night, in the same way there are a few departments in the country that also suck blood," he said.

Bullion and jewellery markets have strongly opposed the excise duty on unbranded jewellery and the doubling of import duty on gold.

The government's budget proposal imposes an excise duty of one percent on unbranded precious jewellery and doubles the customs duty on standard gold bars and coins to four percent.

The government also intends to charge two percent on jewellery purchases of more than 200,000 rupees.

Justifying his remarks later in the day in New Delhi, Jaiswal maintained that several government departments had failed to create an environment conducive for traders.

"During my speech in Kanpur, I had stated that a lot of officials in most of the departments create trouble for traders and suck their blood. It is unfortunate that they do such things," Jaiswal said.

Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee dismissed Jaiswal's comments, saying he had clarified his stance.

"No, he told me. It is absolutely nothing. He has clarified it," said Mukherjee.

Despite the opposition, Mukherjee has refused to waive off any increases.

Traders have warned that the higher levies may lead to a rise in retail gold prices by over six percent in the country, which is seeking to rein in a widening current account deficit partly fuelled by record purchases in 2011.

India imports 900 tonnes of the yellow metal annually.

Gold imports alone contributed nearly 40 basis points in the 130 basis point widening of India's current account deficit between 2008 and 2011, according to research house Macquarie. (ANI)

250 bars in Kerala get relief as HC stays order Oct 31, 8:20 pm
Kochi, Oct. 31 (ANI): A Kerala High Court division bench on Friday stayed for a month a previous directive ordering the closure of 250 two and three star bars in the state, thus providing relief to the owners.
Full Story
Uddhav's presence during Maha CM swearing-in ceremony 'heartening': BJP Oct 31, 8:20 pm
Mumbai, Oct.31 (ANI): The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday hailed Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray's presence during the swearing-in ceremony of Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, calling it a positive and heartening step.
Full Story
Nithari killings: Allahabad HC stays order on Surinder Koli's death sentence Oct 31, 6:32 pm
New Delhi, Oct. 31 (ANI): The Allahabad High Court on Friday stayed the execution order on the death sentence of Nithari killings convict Surinder Koli till November 25.
Full Story
Justice (retd) Ganguly: Mamata rule 'worse' than emergency Oct 31, 6:14 pm
Kolkata, Oct. 31 (ANI): Former Supreme Court judge, Justice (retired) A.K. Ganguly, on Friday alleged that the rule in West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee-led state was 'worse' than the emergency imposed under former prime minister Indira Gandhi.
Full Story
Comments

LATEST STORIES
TOP VIDEO STORIES
PHOTO GALLERY