India Boosts Funding to Promote Exports

GJEPC1New Delhi: The Government of India has increased allocations for export incentive schemes across the economy, including the diamond and jewelry sectors, in the current financial year to $3.2 billion (Rs21,000 crore).

Commerce Secretary Rita A. Teaotia told a meeting with representatives of 27 export promotion councils on October 7 that the new amount was an increase on the earlier figure of $2.8 billion, according to a statement by the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC).

She also said the Ministry would take “specific actions” to facilitate exporters and that export promotion councils’ suggestions would be taken into account.

Praveen Shankar Pandya, representing the GJEPC, told the ministry it could combat the exports slowdown in the gem and jewellery sector through a long list of innovations including presumptive taxation for the diamond sector and free-trade agreements with countries with prohibitive rates of import duty.

He also asked for a speedy resolution of taxation issues with regard to the special notified zone in Mumbai; separate ITC HS codes for natural and laboratory grown diamonds; ensuring the availability of duty-free gold by nominated agencies to small and medium jewelry exporters; implementing a single window system for all clearances in special economic zones (SEZs); re-negotiation of US generalized system of preferences benefit for the Indian jewelry sector.

Earlier this year GJEPC chairman Vipul Shah outlined efforts to promote the Indian gem and jewellery trade following a Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion workshop in December 2014.