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GJF outlines key concerns of G&J industry before budget
Also pleased at Ministry clarifying definition of excise duty on branded jewellery
By: Diamond World News Service
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Mar 14 2012 12:37PM
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Reference: 6800  

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With the Union budget unfolding in just two days, the All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation, a national trade federation of the Indian gem and jewellery industry is hoping it will offer some respite to key concerns of the industry.

The GJF has outlined some of the concerns as: - To increase the limit of jewellery purchase for which a pan card identification is required, from Rs.5 lacs to rs. 25 lacs.

- Mandatory Hallmarking with the support of proper infrastructure and doing away with the criteria of license.

- Abolish ETF investment in Gold and introduction of commodity transaction tax on commodity trading and margin for these transactions to be increased to at least 25 percent.

- Import of Gold by NRI’s to be reduced from 10 kg of gold worth approximately 3 crores to 1 kg, thereby encouraging more inflow of foreign currency, stopping illegal imports and helping reduce fiscal deficit.

- Import duty on Gold and Silver from 2 percent to @Rs. 40 per gram for gold and @Rs. 2000 per kg for silver.

- Seeking permission to import Gold in OGL, enabling the country to strengthen itself as a global gold hub.

- Introduction of an alternative presumptive tax at 1.5- 2 percent on total turnover which will especially help smaller jewelers and artisans.

- Formation of a council - GJF was approached by DIPP, ministry of commerce to form a national Jewellery council in 2007. GJF has completed all the necessary formalities for the same but the matter in pending since long time. The Federation requests the government to expedite the matter at the earliest and also grant industry status to the sector.

- Gems and Jewellery Parks to be set up across India to improve working conditions and boost the modernization of manufacturing process.

- Promotional Fund for the gem and jewellery sector. The GJF recommends that with the increased import duty on gold, silver and other precious metals, the government will be adding an additional Rs. 4000crores to its exchequer which can be partly used to support the industry.

While the recommendations are yet to see any result, the Finance Ministry has already issued a clarification on the definition of excise duty applicable on branded jewellery. The Ministry has informed that excise will only be applicable to jewellery where brand name or trade names is affixed or embossed on the articles of jewellery itself and not on articles that are packed in a jewellery box or pouch bearing a trade name or brand name.

Mr. Bachhraj Bamalwa, Chairman of All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation said that: "We are grateful to the Government for accepting our recommendations and clarifying on the excise levy on branded precious metal jewellery. Misinterpretation of brand in Gems & Jewellery sector by the field formation of the Excise department was causing unnecessary harassment to jewelers across India since the last 3-4 months. This notification from the Finance ministry before the budget has come as a relief to the industry for which we are thankful.” Currently 1 percent excise duty is applicable on branded jewellery.

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