Kolkata, Sep 9: All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) today sought immediate rollback in import duty of gold - the basic raw material for the jewellery business - from 12.5 per cent to ten per cent.
GJC also sought immediate implementation of a comprehensive integrated Gold Policy to save the gem and jewellery business and the jobs of 55 lakh labour force engaged in the business and the livelihood of their dependents/ families.
The import duty of 12.5 per cent plusGST of 3% has made gold jewellery costlier thereby negatively impacting consumer sentiment leading to postponement of purchase decisions. The lack of demand in gem and jewellery has resulted in many craftsmen and artisans being out of work and shifting to other businesses, where they are getting employment. And there have been several reports of gem and jewellery sector workers committing suicide, a GJC statement issued here said.
GJC also recommended for a comprehensive gold policy covering various aspects of the Gems & Jewelery industry on various concerns such as PAN Card Limit to be increased from Rs 2 lakhs to Rs 5 lakh, as the Rs 2-lakh limit was low because of rising gold price.
The statement said almost 60 to 70 per cent jewellery is made in 22ct gold and play a very important part in daily trade. EMI for 22ct gold jewellery should be reinstated and restriction should be continued for 24 ct. gold bullion. This will help the industry to grow stronger towards the organised and complaint business. In Union Budget 2018-19, the Finance Minister announced Gold as an asset class and as recommended in NITI Aayog – Transforming India’s Gold Market; permit purchase of Jewellery by credit cards and subsequently allow EMI on Jewellery to boost digitalization in the Jewellery business.
It is imperative to immediately implement a revamped Gold Monetisation Scheme (GMS) and make it more effective to benefit citizens at large. To unlock family gold reserves of up to 24,000 tonnes and help reduce CAD, GJC urged that Government must give exemptions to households for minimum 500 gm of gold deposited under Gold Monetary policy, being of ancestral nature, from being questioned by any tax department, the statement noted.
Shaankar Sen, Vice-Chairman, said, “The Government should implement Gold Policy immediately to liberalize and simplify Gold Monetization Schemes to recycle household gold for utilization. The hike in Custom Duty has resulted in tremendous job losses and the Industry is in complete chaos due to rising gold price. Millennials are shying away from the Industry. GST which is 3 per cent on gems and jewellery industry and custom duty of 12.5 per cent makes gold dearer and ultimately makes it a very niche commodity even though it is the lifeline of the lower income group segment. On one hand, the Government talks about taking Indian craftsmanship to the world while on the other hand its policies are making our skilled artisans leave the business with all their learnings, experience and expertise.”
GJC also recommends reduction in GST on the jewellery sector to 1 per cent instead of 3 per cent as lower tax would result in generating more revenue to the Central and State Governments. (UNI)