The two-day India Gold & Jewellery Summit, organized by the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), kicked off in Delhi on Friday, bringing together the country’s top policy makers, gem & jewellery stakeholders and decision makers.
Indian Commerce & Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu observed in his remarks at the event that the gem and jewellery industry is one of the top contributors to the nation’s economy and holds the potential for further strong growth duty to the robust ecosystem around gold in the country. However, he noted that only 10 percent of the gold imported into the country was exported as jewellery due to strong domestic demand. He urged the gem and jewellery industry to upgrade its infrastructure and raise standards to make an impact in global markets.
GJEPC Chairman Pramod Agrawal said India has the potential to double its gold jewellery exports to $18 billion by 2025 and add 3 million more jobs to the 5 million people currently directly employed by the industry. He added that greater ease of doing business and a reduction of the import duty on gold to 4 percent, would go a long way towards achieving this goal.
The minister said that the ideas exchanged at the event would aid the government in bringing in policy reforms to enable the industry to reach a higher level. The Ministry’s Economic Advisor Rupa Dutta, said a draft of the new gold policy would be shared with the Finance Ministry next month.
Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan observed that gold was an integral part of Indian society, being used at all significant milestones in citizens’ lives and in celebrations. However, he asked the industry to adopt prudent practices and processes, noting there was a need for self-regulation and innovation as the use of gold as an asset had increased in an era of market and currency volatility.
Wadhwan added that a new comprehensive gold policy would have to balance regulatory concerns regarding the ease of doing business to avoid violations.
Participants at the event included Zimbabwe’s Minister of Commerce & Industry Raj Modi, Amitabh Kant, the CEO and Ratan Watal, Principal Advisor to the NITI Aayog, the Indian government’s developmental policy think tank, Department of Economic Affairs Secretary Subhash Chandra Garg and bullion powerhouse MMTC-PAMP Chairman Rajesh Khosla.