“The excise duty was introduced without consulting the jewellers. The government is not going to benefit with this tax. Rather it will give rise to corruption. The excise inspectors will ask for bribe from the traders,” said Kejriwal while addressing the protesting jewellers at Jantar Mantar in New Delhi on Sunday.
Kejriwal also said he met President Pranab Mukherjee to raise the issue with him.
“Mukherjee also agreed with us that the excise duty will give rise to Inspector Raj. When he was the finance minister in 2012, the UPA government also introduced excise duty on jewellery items but rolled it back in 22 days after facing resistance from jewellers,” said Kejriwal. He added that Prime Minister Narendra Modi himself opposed the excise duty when he was Gujarat chief minister.
Thousands of jewellers across the country have been protesting against the imposition of excise duty since last month.