India’s Finance Minister clarifies Equalisation Levy not applicable on e-trade of rough diamonds

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India’s Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in a meeting held with The Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), clarified that the e-trade of rough diamonds does not attract a 2 percent Equalisation Levy and assured the delegation that a clarification will be issued on this soon.

The Gems & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), which promotes Indian gem and jewellery exports, met Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman on August 27 in the capital city New Delhi.

A delegation led by Mr. Colin Shah, Chairman, GJEPC, outlined the implications arising for the diamond sector due to any expansion of the scope of the Equalisation Levy (EL).

The Equalisation Levy was introduced and amended in the Finance Act 2020. A 2 percent Equalisation Levy has been effective from April 1, 2020 in the fiscal year and is applicable on the consideration received/receivable by an e-commerce operator from the following transactions (e-commerce supply or services):

  • Online sale of goods owned by the e-commerce operator; or
  • Online provision of services provided by the e-commerce; or
  • Online sale of goods or provision of services or both, facilitated by the e-commerce operator; or
  • Any combination of the above-mentioned activities.

During the meeting the GJEPC delegation urged the Minister to issue an appropriate amendment/ clarification to ensure that the diamond sector is not burdened with the EL, even where rough diamonds are procured through auctions over a digital platform.

India’s Finance Minister clarifies Equalisation Levy not applicable on e-trade of rough diamonds