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Sunday, February 08, 2015

Indian industry body urges jewelry trade changes
~~By Paul Ploumis
Photo: Balan Die Works
January 15, 2015; The All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) has forwarded its recommendations to the Union Finance Ministry ahead of the budget.

The industry body has urged the Finance Minister to bring down the gold import duty from 10% to 2%. According to GJF, the high import duty on gold has neither helped the trade nor the government. This has benefited only selected few. At the same time, smuggling has increased manifold ever since the imposition of hefty duty on gold imports. GJF urged the government to formulate comprehensive gold policy to make the country a global jewellery hub. GJF further stated that lowering of gold import duty would promote ‘Make In India’ initiative in the country’s gems and jewelery sector.

Secondly, GJF has asked the government to exclude jewellery from all bilateral or multi-lateral free trade agreements (FTAs). It noted that an earlier FTA with Thailand had caused significant damage to indigenous jewllery manufacturing industry in the country. The GJF urged the government not to encourage jewellery imports at cheaper rate.

According to GJF, the difference between import duty of raw material and finished jewelery must be maintained at minimum 10% (for gold) and 15% (for silver). The jewelery manufacturing sector must be revamped by introducing constant skill upgradation programmes. The government must incentivize technology imports to reduce manual labor in the jewellery manufacturing sector.

The industry body has also demanded re-introduction of metal gold loans (MGL) with a rate of interest at par with international rates. Other demands include removal of excise duty on fashion jewellery and scrapping of excise duty on precious metals. It also called for revision of rules for transportation from manufacturing units to airports.

Courtesy: Hard Assets 
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