Subramanian Swamy asks Centre to withdraw excise duty on jewellery

New Delhi, Apr12: Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Subramanian Swamy on Tuesday took on the Centre for proposing excise duty on jewellery, saying that there was no economic basis, and, therefore, this should also be withdrawn just like the EPF tax.

“I also think it is a wrong thing because if you (government) want some Rs. 200 or Rs. 300 crores of revenue, there are other ways through the VAT, which will not affect the common people and it would also not discourage them from buying jewellery during the festive season,” Swamy told ANI.

“You (government) are unnecessarily creating the situation where these jewelers will be harassed by income tax people or sales tax people or excise tax people. I am totally against it,” he added.
He said that he has made it clear through the party sources that this proposal should be withdrawn.
“Just like the Prime Minister took the bold step of withdrawing the EPF tax, the same way this also should be withdrawn. There is no economic basis whatsoever for this thing and only thing is that is a sadistic basis,” Swamy said.
The jewellers' are demanding the withdrawal of excise duty on jewellery.  The Centre has constituted a panel to look into the jewellers' demands.
The panel, which has been asked to submit its report in 60 days, will look into issues related to the compliance procedure for the excise duty, including records to be maintained, forms to be filled, operating procedures and other relevant aspects.
The government, in the Budget for 2016-17, had proposed one percent excise duty on jewellery without input credit or 12.5 percent with input tax credit on jewellery excluding silver other than those studded with diamonds and precious stones.