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Jewellers accuse officials of 'harassment' ahead of Diwali

IANS  |  Mumbai 

The All Indian Gem and Domestic Council (GJC) has condemned the "harassment" of jewellers by government officials prior to the auspicious season, here on Monday.

It said that several incidents have come up in different states where the police, (RPF), Income Tax and Goods and Services Tax (GST) officials have carried out illegal raids on jewellers, especially small and medium players, marking a return to 'Raaj'.

This has caused mental torture to the jewellers, who were already grappling with low sales during the festive season, the GJC said and added there have been complaints of officials indulging in nepotism and corruption.

To counter this, the organisation has launched a hashtag #GJCagainst #harassment of jewellers handles to provide small and medium jewelers a means to register case of harassment by government officials, said GJC in a statement.

He said in Maharashtra, jewellers from and Bhusawal; and Itarsi and Kandwa regions of Madhya Pradesh, who buy jewelleries from the wholesale markets like Mumbai's Zaveri Bazar have complained of harassment in trains en route to their respective destinations.

At least six raids have been carried out in Thane in the last few days, besides jewellers have also claimed harassment from the

On October 27, a consignment from to was allegedly confiscated at Itarsi at 4 a.m. despite having full documentation, the GJC said.

"The alleged clear harassment by the RPF by confiscating his goods and not releasing it even after repeated follow-ups with the GST, RPF and IT officials.

"In one case, a complained how the police tore up the delivery challans (note) and bills, and then summoned the GST officials to take action on him," said Khandelwal.

He strongly denounced the "illegal action" by the government officials on the eve of a festival, especially at a time when the gems and sector was grappling with lower than expected sale (by 10 per cent, compared to 2017), depressed economic conditions and poor consumer sentiments.

"It is very sad that even after doing a compliant and systematic business, a is treated like fraud in the eyes of the police/government.

"Due to this, there is a constant fear in the industry towards the government officials," Khandelwal pointed out.

In view of these instances of harassment, the GJC has taken to to unite and empower all jewellers across to lodge their individual cases "to shame the corrupt officials".

The GJC is the with over 400,000 members who command a workforce of over 10 million with a turnover of Rs 2.51 lakh-crore.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Mon, November 05 2018. 12:22 IST