Jewellery trade bodies express disappointment over union budget
A number of trade groups representing the gems and jewellery industry have expressed concerns over the union budget’s proposals for raising customs duties on gold and fear that this could result in an increase in smuggling.
The All India Gem and Jewellery Domestic Council, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council, and World Gold Council, among others, have all made statements expressing concern over the union budget that was tabled in parliament on July 5, the Press Trust of India reported.
The organisations fear that the budget proposal to raise import duty on gold from 10 percent to 12.5 percent will cause problems for the jewellery industry, cause gold jewellery prices to rise in India, and lead to an increase in gold smuggling.
"Smuggling is already on the rise and this move will further boost the grey market, which will provide four to five percent discount making it attractive for consumers,” the GJC’s chairman N Anantha Padmanaban told the Press Trust of India.
“We expect the grey market will increase by 30 percent."
Padmanaban also said that the customs duty hike will cause prices to increase by 15.5 percent.
Prior to the central government meeting on the union budget for 2019/2020, the GJC had petitioned the government to decrease customs duties on gold from the current rate of 10 to four percent.
However, the reverse was proposed in the budget discussion in parliament on Friday. In order to address the issue, a number of jewellery organisations plan to meet with the government next week to request a reduction in customs duties.
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