Branded jewellery firms eye 25% sales growth, more SEZs

Written by Mona Mehta | Mumbai | Updated: Jul 8 2009, 06:09am hrs
Post-budget, branded jewellery majors are planning to expand the number of special economic zones (SEZs) apart from eyeing 20-25% growth in sales during the upcoming festival season.

According to Sadanand Pawar, president, Gitanjali Gems, "Now, with excise duty on branded jewellery scrapped, we expect sales to boost by 20-25% during the upcoming festive season. Post-budget, we are now planning to set up five to six new special economic zones (SEZs) in addition to our existing seven SEZs."

In the Budget, the finance minister did mention that the sunset for the exemption clause to units in free trade zones (FTZs) has been pushed ahead by one more year, that is, financial year 2010-11. According to Tehmasp Printer, MD, International Gemological Institute, "This makes profits earned in these zones exempt from being subject to income tax for one more year. Its time now for branded jewellery majors to expand the number of SEZs for the benefit of the industry."

Vasant Mehta, chairman, Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said, "We welcome the exemption on payment of service tax by the gems & jewellery exporters on certain services. However, domestic funding should have been facilitated at internationally competitive rates (LIBOR based) as opposed to the high interest rates being charged by the banks at present."