MUMBAI: The Finance Minister today in her Union Budget for fiscal year 2020-21 presented a gamut of initiatives, which cheered the entire gems and jewellery industry in the country. The government proposed to reduce the import duty on platinum from existing 12.5 percent to now 7.5 percent. Also, the proposal for establishing a bullion exchange at GIFT City is an encouraging move to attract international bullion trading.
The Gem and Jewellery Exports Promotion Council of India (GJEPC), Chairman, Mr Pramod Kumar Agrawal, said, “We welcome the Union Budget announced by the Finance Minister. It certainly has measures to boost domestic consumption and to put the overall economy on growth trajectory. We strongly believe that the government is determined to make India a USD 5 trillion economy. ”
“The proposal to establish bullion exchange at the GIFT City, will attract international bullion trading to India. It will also help in establishment of full-fledged Bullion exchange in India in future.”
“Also, we understand that the government has now equated the gold bullion sector under single import duty regime by increasing the import duty on gold coins from 10 percent to 12.5 percent. Our demand was to decrease the import duty on bullion to 4 percent from 12.5 percent”, added Mr Agrawal.
Speaking about other important aspects from the budget, Mr Agarwal said, “Initiatives like invoice financing, working capital and debt financing by banks and NBFC’s, raising the threshold for audit from 1 crore to 5 crore will address the existing demands of the G&J sector and will also give a push to the sector to accelerate further. The industry also believes that the NIRVIK Scheme would result in increase of the export credit disbursement to the gems and jewellery sector. With these initiatives, the government marches ahead to make India global gems and jewellery hub by 2025”.
Initiatives like removal of Dividend Distribution Tax is an encouraging move. The decrease in income tax on various income slabs will empower purchasing power of common people, he said.
Commenting on the proposed import duty rise on rough colored gemstones, rough semi-precious gemstones and pre-forms of precious and semi-precious gemstones, Mr Agrawal said, “These rough gem stones are primarily imported for cutting and polishing work and are later exported internationally. There is a very miniscule domestic consumption of colored gemstones and India competes in exports in this segment with China and Thailand. This rise in import duty of rough colored gemstones could upset the exports of gemstones from Rajasthan, the hub of colored gemstones processing which employees around 1.5 lakh workers. We earnestly request the government to roll back the proposed import duty on these rough colored gemstones in the interest of gemstone exports from India.”
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