Looking to give a positive push to the gems and jewellery sector, industry body has urged the government to reduce the import duty on gold to 4 per cent and also address issues under the GST regime in the coming Budget. “Lowering the duty to 4 per cent from 10 per cent will not only boost customer demand and uplift business sentiment for the trade, but also help industry become more organised and compliant,” All India Gems and Jewellery Trade Federation (GJF) chairman Nitin Khandelwal said in the representation to the government. The reduction in import duty will also help in the fight against black money, he added. The 10 per cent duty on gold was levied to curb current account deficit (CAD), however, the country’s trade deficit narrowed more than expected to $12.96 billion in June, he said. Further, Khandelwal said, there are some issues under the current GST regime, which is hampering the industry that the government needs to look into. He said, under GST inter-state supply of services by job workers (karigars) who are unregistered, that is, having turnover below 20 lakhs in a financial year should be allowed.
“Retail customers are reluctant to share their residence address, so we request the government to increase the invoice value to a minimum of 2,00,000 from the current Rs 50,000,” he further added. The industry body also asked the government to increase the cash purchase limit to at least Rs 1,00,000, which is kept at Rs 10,000. Further, Khandelwal said, the government should enable jewellers to sell Ashoka Chakra Gold coins through their retail stores, which will increase the reach and generate more sales of the coins.