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Industry voices its hopes from Budget 2015
Seeks industry status, ease in taxation and more
By: Diamond World News Service
Feb 25 2015 9:37AM
Reference: 11215  

The Union Budget 2015 is expected to unfold on February 28, and already the industry is pining its hopes for positive outcomes especially from the newly elected Modi-government which has projected it supports a very pro-growth environment.

The industry is discussing its views and hopes from the Budget. Mr. Sachin Jain, President – Forevermark India, mentioned that “The gems and jewellery sector makes a significant contribution to the country’s overall economy.” He added, “Considering the current government encourages and promotes a business conducive environment, we are hopeful that they will address the same which will benefit the industry. From the consumer perspective, the budget should be able to put in real time money in the hands of consumers, increasing their disposable income. So overall an impactful budget will be the one that takes into consideration several important factors like import duty, export duty of diamonds/gems/jewellery, customs, etc. It seems like the industry will perform well this year, especially in the second half.”

The All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) welcomed the Union Government’s recent initiatives to ease supply of gold as raw materials, but is seeking industry status for the sector and National Jewellery Council status for the Federation so that it could implement key initiatives for the sector. GJF has urged the Government to create several jewellery parks with shared infrastructure to support the ‘Make in India’ initiative, and also promote skill development programmes through various training institutes.

Mr. Bacchraj Bamalwa, Director, GJF, said, “The trade now has clarity on gold metal loan, which was a burning issue. Banks can now import gold on consignment basis which is a relief for the industry. The ban on import of gold coins and medallions has been lifted. It seems the worst days of the industry are over. We are eagerly waiting for the budget in which we have a great hope in reducing the import duty on gold, silver, platinum, etc."

He added, “Gold flows into the country have slowed down with only 27 tonnes imported as of February 13, 2015, as compared to 63 tonnes in January 2015 and 39 tonnes in December 2014. The gold being imported is purely for jewellery making purposes as investment demand has died. With respect to ‘Make in India’ initiatives, we urge the Government to make the country a global hub by creating many domestic jewellery manufacturing parks where shared infrastructure facilities can reduce overheads and reduce costs to final customers.”

If the gems & jewellery sector acquires ‘Industry’ statues, getting land for factory units in Government owned sites such as SEZs/ MIDC areas, etc. will become easier, encouraging manufacturing and employment. The ‘Industry’ status will also facilitate the provision of fiscal incentives, insurance norms and availability of credit, will be easier.

GJF has urged the Government to develop infrastructure to improve skill sets. It has urged the Government to roll out the National Skill Certification and Monetary Reward Scheme (NSCMRS) extensively to increase productivity and attract young manpower, it hopes the government would increase investment in technology to improve health and working conditions as well as labour productivity.

Gem and Jewellery has been identified by the NSDC as a high growth sector to initiate skill-training programs.

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