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GJEPC seeks government support for gems and jewellery industry

31 january 2019
gjepc_logo_news.pngThe gem and jewellery sector contributes 7% to India's GDP, 13.52% to its merchandise exports and directly employs around 5 million people of the country, thus making a significant contribution to the domestic economy while maintaining a global leadership in cutting and processing diamonds and other gemstones. GJEPC has sought government support in ensuring ease of doing business and thus help exporters to enhance exports in 2019-20.

On behalf of the gem and jewellery industry, GJEPC seeks:
  • reduction of import duty on cut and polished diamonds as well as on cut and polished gemstones from 7.5% to its earlier of 2.5%.
  • 5% of the FOB value of exports of cut and polished diamonds in the preceding licensing year should be allowed to be reimported duty free for the exporters.
  • As part of the comprehensive Gold Policy on the anvil, GJEPC seeks reduction of import duty on gold from 10% to 4%.
  • Government to change Income Tax regulations enabling foreign mining companies to sell rough diamonds through Special Notified Zone.
  • introduction of presumptive taxation system for diamonds and gemstones in India. The introduction of presumptive taxation would not only increase the ease of doing business of diamantaires but also encourage diamantaires from across the world to start operations in India as against other preferred destinations such as Belgium, the UAE and Hong Kong. A level playing field in India is absolutely essential for making India a global hub for gems and jewellery.
  • segregation of ITC HS Code for both rough lab grown diamonds and other synthetic stones.
  • introduction of job work policy in the gem and jewellery industry as is the practiced norm in developed markets. Similar enabling policy for such a job work model for diamond business needs to be introduced as it is available to all other sectors.
  • exemption from payment of IGST on re-import of goods exported during overseas exhibitions/consignments/ export promotion tours. Such amendment should be done retrospectively to protect exporters from harassment.
  • GST authorities to notify GST rate of 0.25% on input services (at least job work services and grading and certification services) and extend benefit of inverted duty structure to such services also.
  • Government for adopting Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for apprising exports and imports which contains the tolerance range as per justified norms adapted the trade during their regular business. Such SOP also contains Risk Management Parameters for evolving a Risk Management System for doing examination and apprising by Customs.
  • desires to have conducive banking environment for exporters of the gem and jewellery sector in terms of relaxing credit norms for working capital requirements. We also urge the Government to introduce interest subvention of 5% on export finance for the gem and jewellery sector.

The GJEPC is quite hopeful that resolving the above concerns would pave the way for Indian gem and jewellery exporters to take advantage of optimistic scenario in the international markets and achieve the target of $60 bn exports for the gem and jewellery industry by 2022.

Aruna Gaitonde, Editor in Chief of the Asian Bureau, Rough & Polished