Feb 01, 2017

GJEPC Chairman Says Transformational Budget Will Aid Socio-Economic Growth

Chairman of The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), Praveenshankar Pandya has said that the Union Budget 2017-18 presented today by the Hon. Finance Minister, Shri Arun Jaitley is “a progressive and transformational Budget that will take India to the next phase of socio-economic growth” and “signifies that the Government is moving towards a policy and system based administration; towards transparency and objectivity in decision making; towards targeted delivery; and a formal economy”.

Pandya noted that the series of measures with respect to the agricultural economy, farmers, rural population, youth, poor & underprivileged sections of society, infrastructure, financial sector, digital economy and public service as well as tax cuts for the middle class and other sections of society will drive consumption, which will be favourable for the industry also.

Among the several positive takeaways for the industry were the focus on export infrastructure, including announcement of a new and restructured Central scheme, namely, Trade Infrastructure for Export Scheme (TIES) to be launched in 2017-18; the reduction in income tax for smaller companies with annual turnover upto Rs. 50 crore to 25%; the emphasis on skill development with the setting up of 100 International Skill Centres; and the steps to curb black money with prohibition of cash transaction more than Rs. 3 lakh  and strong steps to penalize wilful defaulters of loans to banks.

Pandya also said that there were some areas with regard to ease of doing business that still remain to be addressed in the case of the gems & jewellery sector. These included investment in infrastructure like Jewellery Parks all over India; encouragement to international trading to make India a global trading hub for diamonds and precious stones that will also give a boost to local manufacturing; schemes for furthering Employment Generation in both domestic and export sector of gems & jewellery and encouragement to more gem & jewellery export entrepreneurs as part of Start Up India; minimal rate of duty on export of diamond under GST regime on the basis of equivalence principle; permission for sale and specific Exemption on taxation of income from sale of rough diamonds at SNZ and introduction of Presumptive Taxation and abolition of MAT for the G&J exporters.