After the end of a three-week strike by jewelers in India, the largest buyer of gold bullion in the world, gold could resume its upward path in the market. Jewelers were protesting a tax on unbranded gold jewelry instituted by Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee, who has also boosted import duties on gold bars and coins as well as platinum. Jewelers met with Mukherjee, who agreed to consider their concerns.
Bloomberg reported Friday that the All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation met with the finance minister, who has been battling the country’s current-account deficit, partly fueled by record purchases of gold bullion.
Bachhraj Bamalwa, chairman of the trade body, was reported saying after the meeting, “The minister assured that he would consider the demand for the rollback of excise duty favorably.” The nationwide strike lasted for 21 days and, according to Bamalwa, cost the industry about 200 billion rupees ($4 billion) in lost revenue.