No De Beers Office in India

Mumbai: De Beers, the global diamond mining company, says it has no plan to open a trading office in India.

“The auction sales customers in India are serviced out of either Dubai or Antwerp,” said a spokesperson, to a Business Standard query.

The Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) had been pressing the central government to declare a large office at the Bharat Diamond Bourse in the Bandra Kurla Complex of this city as a ‘Special Notified Zone’, to enable global miners such as De Beers to bring rough diamonds tax-free for auctioning in India.

Import and export of roughs into such a zone is duty-free. Commerce and industry ministry Nirmala Sitharaman had a discussion in October with the revenue secretary on this. It appears the declaration of such a notified zone at the Bourse is under consideration.

Currently, small diamond processors travel to Dubai, Belgium and Antwerp for inspection of rough diamond lots and again for participating in auctions.

Goods sold in a special notified zone come in the form of consignments. In transporting unsold quantities back to Dubai, Antwerp or London, the value of goods is added to the turnover, on which income tax is levied. Therefore, global rough diamond miners have been apprehensive on opening offices in India.