Gold Merchants in Kerala Launch Stir Seeking Withdrawal of Purchase Tax

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Thiruvananthapuram: Demanding withdrawal of purchase tax on gold ornaments, the gold merchants in Kerala under the aegis of Kerala Jewellers’ Association Co-ordination Committee started an indefinite satyagraha in front of the State Secretariat here on Monday.

Dr. B Govindan, President, All Kerala Gold and Silver Merchants Association; P C Natesan, General Secretary; M P Ahammed, General Secretary, Kerala Jewellers Federation and Shaju Chirayath, President,  Kerala Gold and Silver Dealers Association are taking part in the protest against the retrospective collection of 5 per cent purchase tax that was imposed by the previous UDF Government in 2013-14.

Department of Taxes had served notices on the jewellers to the tune of Rs. 2,600 crore following the government’s drive to collect purchase tax with retrospective effect from 2013-2014.

“Several representations highlighting the challenges faced by the industry on this issue have been made to the government till date, but there has been no resolution to the problem. The purchase tax and compounding of sales tax as done in Kerala do not exist in other states. All associations/federations involved in gold business are participating in this agitation,” said M P Ahammed of Malabar Gold.

The purchase of gold, silver and platinum in any form attracts a 5 per cent VAT in Kerala. Exchange of old jewellery too is treated as sale under the State’s VAT policy. Since customers or individuals are not registered sellers, the onus is on the jewellery firm to collect it from customers and pay it to the government.

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