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Union Budget 2013-14 announced
The Budget has been observed by most leaders of different sectors as 'more than average to good'
By: Diamond World News Service
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Feb 28 2013 9:12PM
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Reference: 7639  

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The Union Budget announced by India’s Finance Minister P. Chidambaram has been observed by leaders of the various sectors of the economy as a ‘more than average to good budget’. Bachhraj Bamalwa, Chairman, All India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) says that the industry is overall happy with the Union Budget 2013-14. "There is nothing substantial for the gem and jewellery industry that the Honorable Finance Minister has emphasised upon in his budget speech for the Union Budget 2013-14. There is a big relief in the industry that the import duty has not been increased but we expect it to reduce further in the coming days. He has made efforts by announcing the instruments to protect savings from inflation such as inflation index bonds and inflation index national certificates which may make people shy away from investing in gold. But, we believe it is the right path," he said.

"We have not yet received the fine prints of the budget and hence have not understood clearly his statement of reducing the import duty from 10 per cent to two percent for coloured stones. As we all know the import duty for coloured stones is presently two per cent itself and not 10 per cent," he further added.

It is noteworthy to mention that GJF's hard work of the past six months have paid off as the government has taken into consideration two of its important suggestions which are as following:

1) Recommendation of imposing Commodity Transaction Tax

2) The acceptance of the suggestion regarding increasing the duty free gold limit to Rs 1 lakh for female passengers and Rs 50,000/- for male passengers.

While Vipul Shah, Chairman, Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council expressed his disappointment over the budget. He said "We had suggested that while the industry would like a Presumptive Taxation regime in the long run, it would request the Finance Ministry to start by reducing the net profit to 2.5 percent of turnover instead of 6 percent for computation of income tax, as mandated under the Benign Assessment Produce (BAP). The Finance Ministry has not considered this and we are hugely disappointed." Mentioning that the "The Union Budget for 2013-14 is neutral for us, as nothing extensive has been stressed upon for the gem and jewellery sector, he also appreciated that, ”The only good news is that the import duty on the semi-polished coloured stones is reduced to two percent from 10 percent. In the past where only the finished or polished coloured stones had an import duty of two per cent, the reduction of import duty on semi-polished coloured stones is a respite. We are expecting some reformative measures in the Import Export Policy that will be revealed in one month’s time. We have already discussed a few key issues with the Finance Minister and we are hopeful that he will consider them in the Import Export Policy."

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