Maharashtra CM Assures Full Support to G&J Ind

Mumbai: The Chief Minister of Maharashtra Mr. Devendra Fadnavis has assured the gem and jewellery industry of complete support from his government and promised a speedy solution that will allow exporters to provide bank guarantees instead of upfront payment on VAT charged on gold. He was speaking as Chief Guest at the 41st India Gem and Jewellery Awards (IGJA 2014) held at the Tata Theatre, NCPA, Mumbai on January 29, 2015.

This assurance came in response to the some requests made to the Maharashtra government by Vipul Shah, Chairman of Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) while welcoming the CM to the function. Shah had pointed out that while exporters were providing bank guarantees for the import duty levied by the central government on gold purchased to fulfil export orders, they were being asked to pay cash upfront on account of the VAT which was levied by the state authorities. Though the amount was being refunded on completion of the export orders, the companies were facing unnecessary administrative and financial burdens

The chairman also urged the CM to look into some of the other issues facing the industry, particularly the need for a convention centre of international standards, and provision of a bank licence to ABN AMRO NV to operate in India, as it was one of the larger lenders to the industry.

Responding to the points in Shah’s speech, Mr. Fadnavis said that he would raise the issue of a bank licence to ABN AMRO with both the Prime Minister and the Finance Minister. He also assured the industry that his government was keen to work with them as partners, adding that the state government would be happy to have detailed discussions with a delegation from the industry, to understand the problems it faced and work out solutions.

While concluding, Mr. Fadnavis said that the government had noticed that the industry had shifted some of its operations out of the state. He urged all those assembled to “Make in Maharashtra”, clarifying that he meant fresh expansion of their business activities in the state, rather than moving back from other states.

The much-awaited India Gem & Jewellery Awards for 2014 organised by GJEPC were distributed to leading performers from India’s gem and jewellery industry by Chief Guest Hon’ble Mr. Devendra Fadnavis, the Chief Minister of Maharashtra at a function at Tata Theatre, NCPA, Mumbai. The hall was packed and there was much enthusiasm and cheering as the comperes for the evening, Mandira Bedi and Cyrus Broacha called out the names of the winners in different categories.

Maximum applause was reserved for three of the biggest winners – Kiran Group, Hari Krishna Group and SRK Group, all of whom received more than one award, including some of the most prestigious categories like C&P Diamonds (Highest Turnover), Best Growing Company, Most Innovative Company and Exporter of the Year.

A standing ovation was also given to Navinbhai Mehta who was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award, celebrating his many achievements in the over five decades that he has been associated with the industry and leading trade bodies including the GJEPC. Navinbhai was accompanied on stage by his entire family, and in an emotional speech, thanked the Council for honouring him and said he had learnt a lot during this journey.

The function was addressed by Vipul Shah, Chairman, GJEPC; Colin Shah and Ajesh Mehta, Convener and Co-Convener of the Awards Sub-committee as well as other dignitaries. Chief Guest Devendra Fadnavis congratulated all the winners whom he described as “true gems” of the industry.

The new format of the event, whether in terms of new categories, new parameters of evaluation or the new style of presentation has struck a chord with the industry. The number of nominations has soared, the competition has become stiffer and the winners are even more deserving. But it was the energy in the hall and the thunderous applause that followed as the roll of honour was read out that best captured the new spirit of the IGJA.