GJEPC urges government to scrap 0.5% rough coloured gem import duty
The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council has asked the Minister for Finance to scrap the 0.5% import duty on rough coloured gemstones, believing increasing the duty rate will harm Indian industry.
The GJEPC has urged Union Finance Minster Nirmala Sitharaman to retract the decision to impose 0.5% import duty on coloured gems citing potential widespread unemployment which could be caused by the duty hike, TNN reported. The GJEPC argues that any increase in government tax revenue would be dwarfed by the disruption it would cause to the sector.
“The import duty on rough coloured gemstones will disrupt the gemstone manufacturing centre in Jaipur,” the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council’s chairman Pramod Kumar Agarwal said in a statement, TNN reported.
“The annual import of coloured gemstone is $300 million [Rs 1,995.8 crore] and the export is pegged at $500 million. The government is going to earn less than Rs 15 crore in duty per annum.”
“This is first time that the import duty on rough coloured gemstone has been increased,” former GJEPC chairman and managing director of Sambhav Gems Private Limited in Jaipur, Rajiv Jain, told the Times of India.
“The gemstone manufacturing is a cottage industry and the hike in the import duty will directly impact over two lakh workers.”
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