New Delhi, Jul 6: A day after the Budget 2019-20 hiked import duty on gold and traders expressed apprehension about the possibility increase in smuggling, the Government has specifically instructed the Customs department to enhance vigilance and tighten its noose.
“Customs will have to be lot more fair… neither we can afford smuggling nor legitimate import without paying tax,” a top official said here responding to comments in the industry on the government’s proposal to raise import duties on gold and other precious metals from 10 per cent to 12.5 per cent.
Among the industry players, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) chairman Pramod Agrawal said the industry is disappointed with the hike on custom duty on yellow metal and maintained that the sector is already going through tough times due to decline in exports and job losses.
There is also apprehension that the government move could result in spurt in business of gold and jewellery in the neighbouring countries. There are also possibilities that the processing of larger diamonds could shift to China, and Vietnam.
Another trade body All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) has said that the industry had earlier given representation to the government to reduce the import duty on gold gradually to 4 per cent. (UNI)