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The future for synthetics lies in that it has become possible to grow a stone you want and make what you want out of it

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De Beers’ GemFair ropes in more than 160 Sierra Leone artisanal miners

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GJEPC: Gem & Jewellery industry disappointed with the increase in import duty on Gold and precious metals

09 july 2019
gjepc_logo_news.pngIn the run-up to the ‘Union Budget 2019,’ The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) had sought a reduction in import duty on gold and precious metals, as well as a reduction in import duty on cut & polished diamonds from 7.5% to 2.5%.
However, during the presentation of Union Budget 2019-20 on 5 July, Hon. Union Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman announced the increase from 10 to 12.5% import duty on gold and precious metals, as per a press release from GJEPC.
Pramod Kumar Agrawal, Chairman, GJEPC, said, “The gem & jewellery industry is going through very tough times with decline in exports and job losses and the industry expected some positive announcement as an encouragement to our sector. GJEPC had represented for the reduction in import duty for raw material inputs like gold, diamond and coloured gemstones to get some blocked capital released.”
“The cost of doing business has now gone up. We seek a reduction in high import duty on Precious Metals Gold/Silver/Platinum as it is encouraging grey market, hampering Export Competitiveness and resulting in job losses and has not helped in curbing CAD,” he added.
Welcoming other proposals made in Union Budget digital mode of payment for business establishments with an annual turnover of more than Rs. 50 crore; a lower rate of 25% corporate tax to include all companies having an annual turnover up to Rs. 400 crore etc, initiatives of facilitating cluster-based development to make the traditional industries more productive etc, Agrawal  also said that India’s Gem & Jewellery Industry, a world leader in cut & polished diamonds, is a $41 bln industry and contributes 7% to India’s GDP and 15% to Merchandise Exports; and employs workforce of 5 Mln across India.
The GJEPC statement reiterated that GJEPC seeks a reduction in Import Duty on Precious Metals Gold/Silver/Platinum from 10% to 4%; reduction of import duty on cut and polished precious and semi-precious gemstones from 7.5% to 2.5%; facilitating exports of gems & jewellery through e-commerce; and special budget provision for inclusion of gems and jewellery merchant exporters under 3% interest equalization scheme from the government.

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