At a meeting between the Indian Ministry of Commerce & Industry and leading gem and jewellery exporters from Jaipur that it had hosted to discuss various issues related to the export trade, the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) urged the government to clearly define procedures to enable foreign mining firms and distributors to import and make direct sales of rough coloured gemstones to Indian companies.
Such a policy, the GJEPC said, would ensure the consistent supply of raw material to a processing industry that is totally dependent on imports for its rough coloured gemstones.
GJEPC Chairman Pramod Agarwal, welcoming Ministry of Commerce Economic Advisor Rupa Dutta and Deputy Secretary Senthil Nathan, who represented the government, said interactions such as this would enable the ministry to better understand the gem and jewellery industry’s issues and tackle them more effectively.
Listing some of the issues adversely impacting the industry, the GJEPC suggested several remedial measures including:
- Exemption from the Integrated Goods & Services Tax (IGST) on re-imports.
- Reduction in custom duty on coloured gemstones from 7.5 to 2.5 percent.
- Reduction in the GST rate on cut and polished semiprecious gemstones from 3 to 0.25 percent.
- Ensuring adequate export credit to the sector.
- Facilitating through through policy changes, e-commerce of gems jewellery, which has a huge growth potential.
- Enabling movement of samples and small value parcels from and to India.
- Resolving issues related to special economic zones (SEZs) like the renting or purchase of a unit; permission for job-work to be done in domestic tariff area (DTA) by a coloured gemstone unit inside an SEZ.
Both government officials said the suggestions would be studied by the government toward addressing these issues.