Gems and jewellery industry today asked Prime Minister Narendra Modi to reduce gold import duty to 5 per cent to check shift of business to neighbouring countries besides seeking separate ministry for the sector.
The other demands were setting up of jewellery park in line with the Information Technology Parks; jewellery university and a separate gold policy.
Speaking at the felicitation function organised for the Prime Minister, All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) Chairman G V Sreedhar said: “There are challenges in the sector. High import duty is affecting our topline and economy as a whole. I request you to consider reducing it to 5 per cent from 10 per cent”.
Due to high duty, businessman of the sector are shifting to neighbouring countries and impacting the country’s exports, he said.
Sharing concerns of the sector, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) Chairman Praveenshankar Pandya said high gold import duty also led to smuggling.
“If you want the industry to make it transparent, there is a need to provide a level playing field,” he said.
He also asked the government to set up jewellery parks in the country and provide them common facilities.
Pandya emphasised on cutting down number of approvals to set up units in places like Mumbai.
Further to improve skill development in the sector, he demanded for a jewellery university in the country besides asking for a separate ministry for the sector which can make policies for the industry.
PC Jeweller Managing Director Balram Garg said that the sector’s future is bright and asked the government to extend its full support for the growth of the industry.
Stating that currently only 25 per cent of the jewellery market is organised, he said the government’s intention is to turn it into a big industry.
Past Chairman of GJF Bachhraj Bamalwa said that the government should formulate a separate gold policy to promote growth in the sector.
In 2013, the government increased the import duty to 10 per cent with an aim to discourage the imports and contain current account deficit (CAD).
India imports about 900 tonnes of gold every year.