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Goldsmiths end strike after meeting with gov’t officials

By Rana Husseini - Mar 19,2018 - Last updated at Mar 19,2018

A customer examines jewellery at a shop in Amman (Photo by Osama Aqarbeh)

AMMAN — Jewelry shop owners on Monday ended their strike following a meeting with government officials to discuss the recent taxes that were imposed on the sector.

On Monday, jewelry shop owners across the Kingdom closed their doors for around three hours after learning on Sunday that “the government imposed a 16 per cent tax on a new stamp the government required merchants to place on their merchandise", said Ribhe Allan, secretary general of the General Jordan Jewelers Union.

“We were surprised to learn that a new 16 per cent tax was imposed on our sector,” Allan told The Jordan Times.

He added that the sector “was already hit hard when the government decided in February to impose taxes on our sales and obliged merchants to also obtain new stamps for their merchandise".

“The new stamps means that we also need to pay fees in addition to JD0.75 in tax for each local gramme and JD1.75 for each imported gramme of gold,” Allan explained.

However, Director of the Jordan Standard and Metrology Organisation Haidar Zaben explained that the 16 per cent tax was part of the recent taxes imposed on the sector and was "not new", the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.

"The meeting with the representatives of the jewelry sector was meant to explain the dynamics of the new tax imposed on the stamp that the merchants have to acquire now for their goods," Zaben explained.

Maha Kuzbar, owner of Kuzbar Jewelry expressed her dissatisfaction with the recent government decision, saying “it added to our already existing problems”. 

“The jewelry market is very slow and imposing new taxes and fees on the new stamps for our merchandise is not fair and is costly,” Kuzbar told The Jordan Times.

“We will have to pay additional fees for the new stamp that is imposed by the government and this will surely discourage people from buying gold and jewelry,” she explained.

Rami Sakkijha, owner of Rami Sakkijha Company and Partners, echoed similar concerns, saying the “new taxes that were passed in January, including the stamp fees, added more burdens to the already struggling sector”.

“We are not satisfied because these added taxes on our sector are affecting the power of buyers because many customers usually buy gold for investment instead of cash. Now, they will be more reluctant to buy gold with the new taxes since the new fees for the stamps could reach between JD750 to 1,750 for each kilogramme of gold,” Sakkijha told The Jordan Times.

“Now, customers know that they will lose a lot if they decide to buy golden coins and bars, because the value for sale is much lower,” he added.

“We hope the government will reconsider its decisions because, as it stands now, the situation is really gloomy for our sector,” Sakkijha concluded.

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Comments

It just means that people will starting buying their gold from the surrounding countries that do tax as highly. This is one product that should have not been taxed. It will eventually hurt the overall economy.

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