The Surat Municipal Corporation (SMC) started to campaign on collecting the professional tax from the diamond manufactures. The government has an annual target of seventy five crore from the diamond industry.
Mahidharpura, Varachha and Kataragam are the diamond hubs in Surat. Navadiya said that and on hearing the campaign by the Surat Municipal Corporation, the diamond merchants threatened to close their units. The government imposed the professional tax to increase the revenue of the government.By the end of March, the civic body sent a notice to the small diamond merchants to pay their professional tax. On receiving the notification, about 2 dozen merchants in Varachha who have 4 to 5 diamond emery wheels closed their units.
The merchants requested help from the SDA (Surat Diamond Association) and the GJEPC (Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council) to solve the issue between them and the Municipal Corporation.In Surat, there are about two thousand small diamond units that process diamonds and they also work for the medium and big diamond units. The small diamond unit employs less than thirty workers in their unit, and they are not permanent workers. And they do not record the changing diamond workers. To pay the professional tax, the small unit owners deduct a certain amount from the worker’s wages. The small diamond unit owner, Mansukh Mangukia had fifteen workers in his unit; because of the imposition of the professional tax he closed his unit. He also said that the government only targets the small scale industry while the big diamond merchants have no pressure regarding tax issues.