Budget Has Disappointed Lakhs of Jewellers: GJC

Mumbai: India’s jewellers are expecting a reduction in import duty of gold and a cut in income tax for the common people in the recently presented Union Budget to spur demand. But the Government has not proposed any proposals that can give boost to the already prevailing sluggishness in the trade.

Reacting to the budgetary proposals, Mr. Anantha Padmanaban, Chairman, All India Gem & Jewellery Domestic Council (GJC) said, “This Budget definitely has few positives like a new simplified GST return form, which is being introduced from April 1, 2020 and Vivaad se Vishwas. GJC welcomes Factor Regulation Act 2011 to be amended to enable NBFCs to extend invoice financing to the MSMEs through TReDS. The Finance Minister’s intent to reduce the compliance burden on small MSME retailers, traders, shopkeepers and the raising of the turnover threshold for audit from the existing Rs. 1 crore to Rs. 5 crore is positive for jewellery businesses. The theme of Wealth Creation, Aspirational India and Economic Development as well as incentives for MSMEs, start-ups and rural agri communities will hopefully encourage more jewellery-buying. India’s 5,000-year old gem & jewellery tradition should be part of the Indian Institute of Heritage & Conservation and the tourism related incentives. At the same time it has disappointed lakhs of jewellers and craftsmen since there was no mention of gold or jewellery in the Budget speech. The gem & jewellery sector is waiting for reduction in import duties on gold, which is the basic raw material for jewellers.”

Mr. Shaankar Sen, Vice-Chairman of the GJC said, “The new personal income tax regime has estimated revenue forgone of Rs. 40,000 crore per year. Even if half of this amount is spent then it’s likely to improve the consumption cycle. Raising of the threshold for audit for MSMEs will help spur entrepreneurship in the country and simplified GST return is also positive. Similar to the suggestions put forward in the Economic Survey of ‘Assemble-in-India’, we strongly propose that the government make ‘Handcrafting-in-India’ a slogan for the gems and jewelry sector.”