India, the world\'s largest bullion importer, has withdrawn the excise duty on precious metals jewellery, Finance Minister Pranab Mukherjee said Monday. Jewellers closed stores for three weeks in March in the longest-ever strike, after Mukherjee doubled import levies on gold and imposed a 1 per cent excise duty on non-branded ornaments. The stoppage ended on April 6 after the government assured jewellers that their concerns would be considered. The strike cost the industry about Rs200 billion (Dh14 billion) in lost revenue, according to the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation. The tax removal may boost demand in India, increasing imports and bolstering global gold prices after they climbed 4.9 per cent this year. \"The Finance Minister has understood our problems and removed the tax on both branded and unbranded jewellery,\" said Bachhraj Bamalwa, chairman of the All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation. \"Demand should recover from now and imports will improve as jewellers who had not stocked up earlier will start buying.\" Shares of Titan Industries Ltd. jumped as much as 4.2 per cent to Rs251.05, while Gitanjali Gems Ltd. rose as much as 3.3 per cent to Rs318.10.