Welcoming government's decision to hike import duty on gold and silver ornaments to 15 per cent, domestic jewellery makers and exporters today said the move will protect the domestic artisans and boost exports.
"Higher import duty on gold and silver jewellery will protect the interest of domestic jewellery manufacturers and will encourage exports as well," Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council Chairman Vipul Shah told PTI.
Government today raised import duty on gold and silver jewellery to 15 per cent from 10 per cent earlier.
Domestic makers have been affected with rise in import of gold jewellery in recent time due to marginal difference in customs duty between raw gold and gold jewellery, he said.
All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federtaion Chairman Haresh Soni said this is a good step towards protecting domestic market.
The duty difference of 1.5 per cent between imported gold and jewellery was negible and had encouraged gold jewellery shipments from Dubai and other Middle East countries, he said.
"Domestic artisans were getting affected. India is a manufacturing hub for gold and silver jewellery. Raising import duty on such imports will not only protect domestic market but will encourage exports," he added.
In August, the country's gold imports had declined to USD 650 million from USD 2.2 billion in the previous month on account of a slew of steps taken by government to curb inbound shipments of the precious metal.
However, the World Gold Council (WGC) has projected the country's overall gold demand to touch a record 1,000 tonnes in 2013 calendar year. This may damage the government's efforts to curb imports and check trade deficit.