Around 35, 000 jewellery shops in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry will down their shutters on Thursday in protest against the central government's stipulation to provide PAN card on purchases over Rs. 200, 000, said a senior official of All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF).
"The PAN card rule came into effect from January 1, 2016 onwards and since than nearly 35 percent of the business has gone down, " N. Anantha Padmanabhan, zonal chairman (southern region) told IANS on Wednesday.
While jewellers across the country downed their shutters on Wednesday, the protest in Tamil Nadu and Puducherry has been fixed for Thursday.
"We do not understand the rationale for bringing down the PAN card submission limit to Rs. 200, 000 from Rs. 500, 000 for jewellery whereas increasing the limit for real estate transactions from Rs. 500, 000 to Rs. 10, 00, 000, " he said, noting it is "common knowledge that unaccounted money is housed in real estate than in jewellery".
Padmanabhan said the trade is not against PAN card submission but against the Rs. 200, 000 limit.
"We have no issue if PAN card submission is made compulsory for purchase of gold coins or bars. But in the case of jewellery, nearly 70 percent of the purchases are made by the villagers, " he said.
In India, only around 20 crore people have been issued with PAN cards whereas jewellery is bought by almost all the Indians, he said.
Many in villagers do not have a PAN card but gold jewellery is a must in the case of weddings or festivals in Indian families, Padmanabhan argued.
According to him, the government can implement the PAN card stipulation in stages.