The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council’s (GJEPC) Chairman Colin Shah, Vice Chairman Vipul Shah, and Executive Director Sabyasachi Ray made a presentation on critical issues affecting the gem and jewellery industry, in a video meeting with Indian Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on 6th July.
Some of the concerns presented during the meeting included: E-commerce policy for the gem and jewellery sector; making the MyKYCBank platform mandatory for all gem and jewellery entities; the sale of rough diamonds in India by miners to Special Notified Zones (SNZs); requesting a clarification on an Online Equalisation Levy for B2B international diamond auctions; reduction in the import duty on polished diamonds, and the Gold Monetisation scheme.
Colin Shah said, “We need to take measures and bring in reforms that would strengthen the ease of doing business in the industry, and at the same time make the industry self-reliant.
“I would like to thank our Honorable Finance Minister Smt. Nirmala Sitharaman, who took time from her busy schedule to hear about the industry’s concerns.
“She has assured us that she will look into the issues and address the concerns through periodical reviews.”
The Council has made representations that would unleash the industry’s potential in terms of export growth and create additional employment in the sector.
“Covid-19 has led to a paradigm shift in consumer behaviour across geographies. With e-commerce gaining momentum, a massive rise is seen in online purchases, and introduction of a supportive E-Commerce policy for the gem and jewellery sector will drive online jewellery purchases,” the Council said.
“Additionally, the Council has stressed the need for a dedicated system-driven Fast Track Customs Clearance of shipments for gems and jewellery goods valued below US$800.”
The Council has proposed the direct sale of rough diamonds by miners in Special Notified Zones (SNZs) in India.
Currently, rough diamonds are sent to SNZs by miners for viewing in the country, after which diamonds are shipped back to Dubai or Antwerp by the SNZ.
The Council has further urged the government that the gem and jewellery sector be granted Priority Sector Status in order to bring operational benefits to the sector,” Colin Shah said.
The GJEPC has also urged a reduction in the polished diamond import duty from 7.5% to 2.5% to help India strengthen its status as a polished diamond hub.
The Council has submitted its concerns to the Finance Minister in order to bring in “Ease of Doing Business” in the industry in these unprecedented times.
The Indian gem and jewellery industry is one of the leading exporters in the world, significantly contributing to the country’s GDP, and employing around 5 million people.