No Solace in Budget for India's Jewellery Sector

29jaitleyMumbai: India’s Finance Minister Mr. Arun Jaitley has not given any relaxation in his first budget today as far as import duty on gold is concerned, within 45 days of forming of the Narendra Modi government.

Mr. Jaitley surprised bullion markets by keeping the import duty on gold and silver unchanged at 10% in his fiscal budget, a move likely to limit overseas purchases by the second-biggest bullion consumer and further encourage smuggling.

Various industry trade organizations including the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) had made strong representations before the budget to drastically reduce the gold import duty (which is at present 10%) and relax the 80:20 rule. But to the great disappointment of the industry, the newly elected government has not considered any of these requests of the industry. However semi processed and half cut, polished, gemstones, diamonds will attract a custom duty of 2.5%, Mr. Jaitley proposed.

Mr. Vipul Shah, Chairman of the GJEPC told G2J, “We had strongly demanded to reduce the gold import duty and withdraw the 80:20 rule including our other demands, but to our disappointment, none of them has been considered by the Hon’ble Finance Minister.”

“This, we hope may be a temporary measure to thoroughly get control over the Current Account Deficit (CAD). He my review the same in future,” Mr. Shah added.

Mr. Pankaj Parekh, Vice Chairman of the GJEPC said, “Our expectations have not been met, we will further take up the matter with the finance ministry.”