While saying that it welcomed the Indian government’s increase in import duty on polished diamonds and coloured gemstones, along with lab-grown diamonds to 7.5 percent and that on jewellery to 20 percent as a means of tackling the country’s current account deficit (CAD), the Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) said however, that the measure would impact exports and trade.
GJEPC Chairman Pramod Agarwal said in a press release, “India is a global leader in diamond processing. It is not just a hub for processing rough, but also caters to varied forms of re-processing of diamonds and diamond jewellery. A substantial amount of cut and polished diamonds and coloured gemstones sold to clientele world over, in the form of either loose or set in jewellery, is imported for re-setting in new design or products as desired by the customers.”
He added, “There are broken, damaged and semi processed stones too, that form a considerable part of the import of cut and polished diamonds. This would lead to practical inconvenience and limit the business of cutting and polishing, impacting a large part of employment in the sector.”
He went on to say, “Other global trading centres such as New York, Dubai and Israel would be at an advantage and the import duty hike could encourage malpractices in India. We at the GJEPC are constantly working with the government to initiate measures favourable for the growth of exports, and we are hopeful that rupee stability in future would bring relief to the trade.”