India’s jewellery industry urges govt to cut import duty on gold, polished diamonds

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The gems and jewellery industry  urged the government to reduce the import duty on precious metals, cut and polished diamonds and gemstones and amend taxation laws to give domestic traders a level playing field in the global market.

Speaking at the 13th edition of the India International Jewellery Show (IIJS), Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Chairman Pramod Kumar Agrawal said the industry has also been urging the government for amendment in taxation laws enabling sale of rough diamonds in Special Notified Zone (SNZ), Mumbai.

“We have been pursuing with the government constantly with few concerns which require immediate attention, like reduction in import duty on precious metals — gold, silver, platinum to 4 per cent from 12.5 per cent. Reduce import duty on cut and polished diamonds and gemstones from 7.5 per cent to 2.5 per cent,” he added.

Agrawal also announced that GJEPC is coming up with a new show in Jaipur in Rajasthan — India Gem and Jewellery Show — to be held from April 1-3, especially for international buyers.’

Faced with around $2 billion of payment receivables stuck with jewellery importers in China due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) has further sought a six-month extension in credit from lenders. Currently, the credit is extended for six months (180 days in trade parlance) on export consignments from India. The trade says this is insufficient at this juncture.

Lenders have Rs 40,000 crore of cumulative exposure to the sector. State Bank of India is estimated to have extended a cumulative Rs 6,000 crore; Indian Bank has exposure of Rs 7,000 crore.

China takes nearly 30 per cent of India’s gross annual jewellery export of around $40 billion. Of the $12 billion China takes, about $6.5 billion is for domestic consumption; the other $5.5 billion is redirected after local labelling and branding to developed countries.

Shekhar Ghosh is consulting editor, Indoasiancommodities.com. He has edited and written for publications like Business India, Business Standard, Business Today, Outlook and many other international publications. He can be reached at shekhar.ghosh@indoasiancommodities.in.

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