Ahead of the Budget, gems and jewellery industry has sought a reduction in import duty on gold to 6% and on cut and polished diamonds to 2.5% to revive the sector. “The high duty of 12.5% on gold coupled with the goods and services tax has made buying jewellery very costly, affecting consumer demand. After the Budget last year, we have met the finance minister several times and we are positive that the government will look into the industry plight and reduce the customs duty to 6%,” All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) Chairman Anantha Padmanabantold media.
Saying that liquidity is a major area of concern, he said, the government should take steps to ensure that banks lend to jewellers. “Banks are staying away from lending to jewellers due to recent incidents of fraud and bankruptcy in the sector. This is affecting manufacturing and many units (are) closing down and (resulting in) lay offs,” he added.
The GJC, in a presentation, urged the government to waive off bank commission on the use of credit card or reduce it to 0.20% from 1-1.5%, thus ensuring a boost to ‘Digital India’ and gems and jewellery industry. It also sought relief from Capital Gain Tax, which is keeping customers away from buying jewellery.