The Gem Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) on Monday welcomed Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman's visionary budget over reduction of customs duty on raw materials such as gold, silver and platinum to boost jewellery exports.
The import duty on gold and silver has been reduced from 12.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent while import duty on platinum, pallidum etc has been reduced from 12.5 per cent to 10 per cent. The import duty on silver dore bar has been reduced from 11 per cent to 6.1 per cent.
The import duty on gold/silver findings has been cut from 20 per cent to 10 per cent.
The import duty on spent catalyst or ash containing precious metals has been cut from 11.85 per cent to 9.2 per cent. Precious metal coins duty has been cut from 12.5 per cent to 10 per cent.
GJEPC Chairman Colin Shah said, "We sincerely thank Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman for this bold and pragmatic growth-oriented budget."
The reduction in import duty from 12.5 per cent to 7.5 per cent will help gem and jewellery exports become globally competitive. The reduction in duty on raw materials will give the much-needed boost to the sector and help it to move to the next level.
High customs duty on precious metals had made exports uncompetitive leading to the large Indian diaspora/Non-Resident Indians moving to Dubai, Hong Kong or other centres to buy jewellery which was impacting employment as well as business in India. Along with this, the decrease of import duty on jewellery findings to 10 per cent will help the jewellery manufacturer exporters in a big way.
"Another relief for the industry was the clarification on Equalisation Levy. What we understand from the budget is that Online Equalisation Levy of 2 per cent is now not applicable on Business-to-business (B2B) purchases from International Diamond Auctions. This will help our manufacturers of diamonds to buy directly from miners. Sincere thanks to Union Finance Minister for this relief," Colin Shah added.
Sitharaman has also announced setting up of a new Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) regulated gold exchange. The Union Finance Minister also announced that SEBI would be notified as the capital markets watchdog as regulator for gold exchanges.
"We welcome the move as this will ease marketability and sale of gold," Colin said.
Thanking PM Narendra Modi and FM Sitharaman for coming out with a visionary budget, GJEPC Vice-Chairman Vipul Shah said, "The Union Finance Minister has done a remarkable job by presenting a bold budget in these difficult times. The budget focused on investments in the infrastructure sector, consolidation of regulations, implementing digitisation in several sectors and reducing regulatory forbearance. There were also various measures to improve consumption."