Sep 13, 2019

GJEPC Raises Industry Concerns at Board of Trade Meeting

A day-long meeting of the Board of Trade, convened by MoC& I under the Chairmanship of Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Union Minister for Commerce & Industries and Railways was held at Delhi yesterday where GJEPC Chairman Pramod Kumar Agrawal raised various key issues related to the gems and jewellery industry.

Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) Housing and Urban Affairs and Civil Aviation and Minister of State, Commerce & Industry, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, and Hon’ble Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Shri Som Parkash, as well as representatives of a host of other industry bodies, secretaries of different departments and a number of ministers and senior officials from different state governments all participated in the deliberations. GJEPC was represented by Chairman Pramod Kumar Agrawal and ED Sabyasachi Ray.

The meeting discussed a range of issues related to enhancement of exports and the role each sector could play in achieving the target of making India a US$ 5 trillion economy within the next five years, according to a Ministry of Commerce & Industry release issued by the Press Information Bureau (PIB).

Addressing a press conference after the meeting, Shri Goyal said that “in the area of export credit, including forex credit, especially with regard to credit at affordable terms and in sufficient volume… the contours of a scheme will be soon shared by the Government”.

The minister also stated that “ECGC procedures and practices are being revamped to make them more exporter friendly” and stressed the “need for transforming each district into an export hub”.

Most of the Export Promotion Councils and other Industry bodies present raised issues related to Customs/GST authorities, GST refunds, declining export credit, requirement of collaterals and inverted duty structure.

Various States also raised the matter of special packages for sectors that are facing problems leading to loss of employment, with diamonds being one of the segments that was specifically mentioned.

In his presentation, the GJEPC Chairman first expressed the industry’s gratitude to the government for addressing and resolving key issues related to IGST payment and Replenishment scheme for the gems and jewellery sector. He also said that on the directions of Hon'ble CIM, GJEPC has taken initiatives and started working towards MyKYCBank project, micro membership and e-commerce policy.

The Chairman highlighted the following key issues as areas of concern for the industry:

  • Reforms in SEZ Policy
  • Reduction in import duty on cut and polished diamonds and coloured gemstones
  • Exploration of a new area of retail export of gems and jewellery to international markets which can earn valuable foreign exchange for the country
  • Development of a mechanism through which GST refund can be made to overseas visitors who purchase jewellery from Indian jewellers, and also for making Replenishment/ drawback scheme available for jewellers who sell to such foreign tourists
  • Introduction and implementation of RMS and SOP for gems and jewellery sector
  • Reduction in import duty on precious metals gold and silver
  • Exploration of the possibility of signing FTAs with USA, Canada as well as with non -manufacturing countries

Pic caption: The Board of Trade Meeting in progress

Pic courtesy: PIB