Maharashtra exempts gems, jewellery manufacturing activities from Covid-19 emergency measures: GJEPC

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A gems and jewellery shop. IAC photo by Parivartan Sharma

The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said the Maharashtra government has allowed export operations to resume with restrictions in number of people working in the manufacturing units during the ongoing night curfew and weekend lockdowns to curtail the coronavirus spread.

In a virtual meeting with the gems and jewellery manufacturers and exporters on Friday, Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray said manufacturing and ancillary activities in the state would be exempted from the ongoing emergency measures during the second wave of Covid-19, GJEPC said in a statement.

During the meeting, Maharashtra Principal Secretary of Relief and Rehabilitation Department Aseem Gupta clarified that as long as work could be carried out in shifts, gem and jewellery manufacturing and ancillary activities would be exempted from emergency measures such as night curfew and restrictions on people’s movement during the day, weekends among others.

Thackeray urged the gems and jewellery industry to adapt to the “new normal” and move away from the ‘peak-hour’ concept and instead reorient to working in shifts, with only essential staff being called to the workplace, while other employees could continue working from home, the statement informed.

It is believed GJEPC chairman Colin Shah also requested the Chief Minister to consider a waiver on the double stamp duty paid by the diamond industry when seeking loans from banking consortiums. He also pointed out that none of the nominated agencies were importing gold into Mumbai as Maharashtra is the only state to impose stamp duty on gold imports. “A waiver of stamp duty on gold imports into Mumbai would boost the state’s revenues,” Shah added.

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