The All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) today urged the government to levy 1.25 per cent Goods and Service Tax (GST) on the industry as against the proposed four per cent. Over the past few months, the GJF has met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, Revenue Secretary, finance ministers of more than 15 states, VAT & GST commissioners, to highlight various concerns of the sector. “In our representation to the Finance Ministry, we have urged the government to charge GST rate of 1.25 per cent for the gems & jewellery sector. The 1.25 per cent GST will generate more tax revenue for the government than what the current tax system is generating,” GJF Director and Member-High Level Committee (HLC) Ashok Minawala told reporters here.
The HLC Report, which was unanimously accepted by the government, was prepared after taking the suggestions and recommendations from over 60 associations of India into consideration, he said. “Keeping in mind the unique characteristics of the gems and jewellery sector, the kaarighars (artisans) and small jewellers were kept out of the purview of the Excise Duty. Therefore, while we welcome GST we request the GST Council to recognise the practical issues faced by the sector as highlighted in the HLC report,” Minawala said.
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Manoj Jha, Director – GJF, said, “The GST council has proposed multiple GST code for the gems and jewellery industry, consisting of 13 major codes with over 50 sub codes. We have explained the criticality of the HSN code to the government, wherein GJF feels that for an unorganised industry, it will be extremely difficult for over 80 per cent of the players to adhere this compliance procedure.”
“It will be an arduous task to maintain stock at the 8 digit level of HSN and potentially result in legal complications with the tax authorities. It is recommended that one standard HSN code to be maintained for the industry,” Jha said.