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    Default Pranab to meet protesting jewellers on Friday

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    Amid widespread protests over the government's decision to levy duty on unbranded jewellery, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee is likely to meet the representatives of jewellers' associations on Friday to sort out the issue.

    "We have already clarified to all the associations that there is not a case for apprehension. Finance Minister has called a meeting with them. The meeting is likely to take place day-after on Friday," Central Board of Excise and Customs (CBEC) Chairman S K Goel said on the sidelines of an event.

    Last week, the Finance Minister said the Centre is considering the demand made in different quarters to withdraw one per cent excise duty on non-branded jewellery proposed in 2012-13 Budget.

    Bowing to protests by jewellers and demands in Parliament, Mukherjee hinted at a rollback of the excise duty on unbranded jewellery but ruled out going back on the hike in import duty on gold and platinum.

    He had also promised to reconsider the proposal to make it mandatory to produce PAN card for purchase of jewellery of over Rs 2 lakh.

    "I understand the plight of small jewellers ...I am considering it... the period that will be available from now and (passage of) Finance Bill, I will come out with an acceptable formulation", Mukherjee had said in his reply to the general discussion on the Budget for 2012-13 in the Lok Sabha.

 

 

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