· GST Rates reduced from 3% to 0.25% for industrial and unsorted category
· GST on Plain Mother of Pearls @ 3% and its articles @ 12% will enable jewellers a hassle free import
Mumbai, 11th September 2017: The GST Council in its 21st meeting held on 9th September, 2017 has recommended changes in the rate structure of various items including products falling under Chapter 71. As per the GST rates announced for rough diamonds the industrial and unsorted rough diamonds has been classified under 3% rate of GST and non-industrial rough diamonds were classified under 0.25% rate of GST. However, the explanatory note for unsorted rough diamonds (HS 7102.10) also supports that rough diamonds falling under other HS code can also be treated as unsorted rough diamonds. The aforesaid discrepancy if not corrected, taxing imports of various forms of rough diamonds under GST would be susceptible to diverse treatment by customs department. Based on Council’s persistent efforts GST rate on Industrial and unsorted diamonds has been reduced from 3% to 0.25%.
Mr. Praveenshankar Pandya, Chairman, GJEPC, said, “ The GJEPC welcomes the pragmatic decision of GST council for harmonising the GST rates for import of rough diamonds and reducing it from 3% to 0.25% for industrial and unsorted category. The harmonised rates of GST was very essential for the ease of doing business and will support the diamond trade to import the goods in respective category without any fear of imposing of higher rate of GST by the department. The reduction in duty of Coral and Articles of Coral is a welcome step which will be beneficial to colour gem stone industry. The industry was facing challenges while importing mother of pearl and now GST rate is announced for Plain mother of pearl @ 3% and its articles @ 12% which will allow jewellers a hassle free import of the product.”
Mr Pandya added that however the G & J sector is awaiting for acceptance of its two major recommendations to boost the exports of this sector.
The polished diamond moves through several hands before it is exported from India and imposition of GST at every transaction or dealing is leading to bottlenecks and blockage of the capital in way of exports as it attracts payment of taxes and subsequent refund after exports. Lot of small units do not have cash flow or loan from banks to support the immediate payment of GST and have reduced manufacturing which is evident from declined exports of last two months. No other competing diamond processing country has this type of system of levying of GST and refund after exports. In other countries with similar diamond dispensation like Belgium or Israel, transactions taking place between a diamond dealer, manufacturer and exporter are controlled and monitored by allotting a special GST number. Any transaction taking place inside the group with such GST number is exmpted from payment of GST, whereas transactions outside this circle is taxed at normal GST rate. G & J trade is not looking for any exemption but a system prevailing internationally for such transactions which are also export oriented . This should be addressed by announcement of similar Group Scheme as sround 94% of diamonds processed in India gets exported.
The Colour gem stone industry, similar in character and processes as that of diamond industry, is also facing a similar situation and needs to be covered under such scheme too.
Also the availability of Gold for exporters of jewellery has become a major issue post GST announcement due to imposition of 3% GST at import level. The nominated agencies are providing gold to trade members with \nominal commission and premium based on their expense or risk perception. However, post GST, it has become difficult for them to continue with this business as the risk involved has increased due to which the premium for such gold supplied to exporters have gone up substantially. For exporters due to the refund system in GST and long gestation period till fixing of price and recovery of GST against exports, there is huge blockage of capital which is much more than the margins with no assurance of refund of the same amount of GST as paid by nominated agency as GST at import level. Council’s recommendation of introducing a system to accept bank guarantee against GST obligation at import level from exporters for supply of duty free gold by nominated agencies needs to be accepted and announced at the earliest to arrest the fall in exports of gold jewellery to the level of 30% after introduction of GST at import level.
Chairman Shri Pandya also welcomed the formation of the special committee to look after GST rules vis a vis exports under the Chairmanship of Revenue Secretary and expressed that he is hopeful that the Committee would consider the above two recommendations of the Council positively.
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