The industry is in a state of surprise to know that the government has proposed to levy import duty on rough colored gemstones, rough semi-precious stones and pre-forms of precious and semi-precious stones from Nil to 0.5 percent. These rough gemstones primarily are imported for cutting and polishing work and are exported internationally. There is a very minuscule domestic consumption of colored gemstones and India competes in exports in this segment with China and Thailand.
Chairman, Pramod Kumar Agrawal, Said, “This rise in import duty of rough colored gemstones has the potential to disrupt the exports of gemstones from Rajasthan, the hub of colored gemstones processing which employees around 4 lakh workers. We earnestly request the government to roll back the proposed import duty on these rough colored gemstones in the interest of gemstone exports from India.”
“The industry welcomes the reduction of import duty on Platinum from 12.5 percent to now proposed 7.5 percent. However, we believe the same should have been made as a standard import duty for other precious metals like gold and silver. Also, we believe the NIRVIK Scheme would result in an increase in the export credit disbursement to the gems and jewelry sector. 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 percent to 12.5 percent. Our demand was to decrease the import duty on bullion to 4 percent from 12.5 percent”, added Mr. Agrawal.
The industry feels that the establishment of bullion exchange is a positive move, as it will attract more international bullion trade to happen in India. It will also help in the establishment of a full-fledged Bullion exchange in India in the future.
Further, measures to boost the MSMEs like invoice financing, working capital and debt financing by banks and NBFC’s are welcomed by the industry. Initiatives like removal of Dividend Distribution Tax is an encouraging move. The decrease in income tax on various income slabs will empower the purchasing power of common people.