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G&J industry welcomes measures to boost MSME Sector, establish Bullion Exchange in Union Budget

04 february 2020

The Finance Minister in her Union Budget for the 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 per cent to now 7.5 per cent. Also, the proposal for establishing a bullion exchange at GIFT City is an encouraging move to attract international bullion trading.
Pramod Kumar Agrawal, Chairman, The Gem and Jewellery Exports Promotion Council of India 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 a 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 the establishment of full-fledged Bullion exchange in India in future. Also, we understand that the government has now equated the gold bullion sector under a single import duty regime by increasing the import duty on gold coins from 10 per cent to 12.5 per cent. Our demand was to decrease the import duty on bullion to 4 per cent from 12.5 per cent”, added Agrawal. 

Image credit: Linda Hamilton (Pixabay)

Commenting on other important aspects from the budget, Pramod 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 crores 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 increase 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.  The removal of Dividend Distribution Tax is an encouraging move, and the decrease in income tax on various income slabs will empower purchasing power of common people.”
On the proposed import duty rise on rough coloured gemstones, rough semi-precious gemstones and pre-forms of precious and semi-precious gemstones, Agrawal said: “These rough gemstones are primarily imported for cutting and polishing work and are later exported internationally. There is a very minuscule domestic consumption of coloured gemstones and India competes in exports in this segment with China and Thailand. This rise in import duty of rough coloured gemstones could upset the exports of gemstones from Rajasthan, the hub of coloured gemstones processing which employees around 1.5 lakh workers. We earnestly request the government to roll back the proposed import duty on these rough coloured gemstones in the interest of gemstone exports from India.”

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