Jewellers from across India are on a country-wide strike, beginning today, to protest against the excise duty on jewellery. All jewellery shops have remained closed across the country as the jewellers have gathered to make appeal to the government to do away the excise duty and put an end to inspector raj. All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) has called for a 3-day strike starting from 2nd March to protest against levy of excise duty on jewellery. During his budget speech for Union Budget 2016, hon’ble FM Arun Jaitley announced an excise duty of 1 per cent without input tax credit or 12 per cent with input tax credit on articles of jewellery (excluding silver jewellery, other than studded with diamonds and some other precious stones) with a higher exemption and eligibility limits of Rs. 6 crores and Rs. 12 crores respectively. Since the announcement, the excise duty announcement has given rise to widespread disappointment amongst the gems and jewellery industry. A lot of jewellers have termed the duty to be regressive step by the government as it is time consuming and will only increase paperwork and harassment by the inspector.