GJEPC Chairman Vipul Shah presented the pre-Budget wish list of the gem and jewellery export industry to Finance Minsiter Arun Jaitley at a meeting held in Delhi yesterday which was attended by representative trade and industry bodies from different sectors. The issues he raised were generally concerned with procedures of import, simplification of direct taxes, clarity in application of import duty or service tax on import of capital goods and software and ease of doing business at SEZs.
Speaking to gjepc.org, Shah said that in response to a question from the FM about the decline in exports from the sector in recent months, he had explained that the major markets in USA and Europe had been facing a slowdown for some years and that additionally this year there had also been a decline in demand from China. “At such times, export-oriented industries require additional support and assistance from the government,” Shah told the minister.
Shah said that the gem & jewellery sector is an important foreign exchange earner for the nation and employs over 3.5 million people from backward or rural backgrounds. He placed some of the industry’s demands regarding steps to improve manufacturing for exports from the sector before the meeting.
Key highlights of the memorandum included:
- Setting up of Special Notified Zone for trading of rough diamonds as per the recent declaration by the Prime Minsiter
- Simplification of Income Tax procedures by introduction of a Presumptive Taxation system or decrease in percentage of net profit to 2% in the notification of Benign Assessment Procedure
- Clarification regarding applicability of import duty or service tax on import of Sarine machines for diamond cutting
- Abolition of import duty on cut & polished coloured gemstones & decrease of import duty to 2.5% on import of processed pearls and clarification on import procedures
- Implementation of the recommendation on ease of doing business & revamping of SEZ rules & procedures for G&J sector that has been submitted earlier to government
- Remodelling of the Duty Drawback on gold exports by considering import duty at the time & point of exports of jewellery as this is the only option to ensure equitable distribution of gold to the small exporters in India