GJEPC and Industry Bodies Interact with Government in Pre-Budget Period
The GJEPC and other industry bodies have been interacting with various government officials and departments over the last few weeks even as the current NDA government put the finishing touches to its first full Budget which will be presented in Parliament tomorrow.
Two important meetings were convened by the Department of Financial Services a little over a fortnight ago. The first was related to creation of a conducive financial environment for the gems and jewellery industry and was convened by Shri Alok Tandon, Jt Sec (IF). The meeting was attended by representatives of the Ministry of Commerce; Indian Banks Association; bigger banks such as SBI; GJEPC, GJF, FICCI and others.
GJEPC representatives presented a few salient points regarding their expectation from the Budget including Implementation of Turnover based Taxation System for Indian Diamond Industry, Implementation of Special Notified Zone in Bharat Diamond Bourse under the supervision of GJEPC to facilitate smooth movement of rough diamonds on consignment basis by RBI approved overseas diamond miners, Hike in drawback rates for gold and silver in the backdrop of prevailing 10% import duty, Abolition of import duty on cut and polished coloured gemstones, Inclusion of Gem & Jewellery Sector under Interest Subvention Scheme etc.
Another meeting convened by Shri Rajiv Mehrishi, Finance Secretary to discuss the industry suggestions regarding development of a gold policy. Senior government officials including Shri Hasmukh Adhia, Secretary, Financial Services as well as representatives of banks, trade bodies and others were present. The GJEPC suggested that the government should develop a comprehensive policy for gold so as to reduce import dependence, which could include a scheme for utilisation of domestic gold stocks lying with Indian consumers. Industry bodies, including GJEPC also asked for a reduction in import duty on gold and development of a formal gold loan scheme. Some of these points were subsequently clarified in an RBI notification.
As already reported by gjepc.org, the study group comprising government officials and GJEPC representatives that had visited Antwerp and Dubai recently has already presented its report and recommendations on procedures for the Special Notified Zone for rough trading to the government.
The All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) has also asked the government togrant ‘industry’ status to the sector, pointing out that this would guarantee fiscal benefits, credit facilities and competitive insurance schemes as well as make it easier to get access to land for factories which in turn, would boost manufacturing activity and employment.