Jul 01, 2019

GJEPC Delegation Makes a Presentation on G&J Sectoral Issues to Union Minister of Commerce & Industry

A delegation of The Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council  (GJEPC), led by Chairman Pramod Kumar Agrawal and Vice Chairman Colin Shah, met with Hon’ble  Minister for Commerce & Industry (MoC&I), Government of India (GoI),  Shri  Piyush Goyal in Mumbai on June 30, 2019.

Included in the GJEPC delegation were: Russell Mehta, Advisor to Chairman; Ashok Seth, Regional Chairman (North); Sanjay Shah, Convener, Diamond Panel; K. Srinivasan, Convener, Jewellery Panel; Vijay Kedia, Convener, Colour Gemstone & Pearl Panel; Ram Babu Gupta, Convener, Silver Jewellery Panel; Sanju Kothari, Convener, Banking, Insurance & Taxation (BIT) Sub-Committee; Praveenshankar Pandya, Former Chairman; and from the GJEPC Secretariat Sabyasachi Ray, Executive Director; Maruthi Vagge, Director, BIT; and Rashmi Arora, Assistant Director, Economist. Accompanying and included in the delegation was also President of the Bharat Diamond Bourse (BDB), Anoop Mehta.

Officials from the Government and other administrative bodies participating in the meeting included: Alok Chaturvedi, DG, DGFT; Rupa Dutta, Economic Adviser, MoC&I; Senthil Nathan, Dy. Secretary, MoC&I; Hitesh Shah, Customs Commissioner; Mita Rajivlochan, ADGFT, Mumbai.

The GJEPC raised various concerns and made suggestions for introducing “Ease of Doing Business” in the g&j sector. Some of the issues raised and changes urged were:

* Reduction in import duty on precious metal gold from 10% to 4%

* Reduction in import duty on cut & polished diamonds, precious and semi-precious gemstones from 7.5% to 2.5%

* Inclusion of gems and jewellery sector under 3% Interest Subvention Scheme on Pre and Post Shipment rupee export credit

* Issues impeding exports of gems & jewellery from SEZs

* GST related issues pertaining to blockage of input tax credit due to inverted duty rate structure.

* Suggestive measures to reduce applicable GST rates on job work and certification charges.

* Refund of accumulated tax credit on account of inverted duty structure on input for period prior to 25.02.2018.

“The GJEPC is seeking a package from the Government to revamp the entire gem and jewellery sector in line with what has been given to other employment boosting sectors like leather and textiles,” a spokesperson for GJEPC said. “This is crucial and instrumental for the growth of the gem and jewellery industry in India.”

The Hon’ble Minister gave a patient hearing to the industry delegation, and expressed particular concern about the welfare of the job workers in the sector. He lauded the Council’s schemes like Common Facility Centres (CFCs) and the Swasthya Ratna Scheme; and asked the industry to come up with a time-bound plan for their implementation.

The Minister emphasised the need for compliance and self regulation by the sector and hailed GJEPC’s MyKYCBank initiative and discussed ways to make it compulsory.

He specially raised the question of introducing ecommerce exports of gems and jewellery; and asked for suggestions on how it could be made “hassle-free” by simplifying procedures.  

Regarding issues related to GST being faced by the industry, the Minister assured the delegation that the Government will take proactive measures to solve the problems. However, he urged that the trade to also pursue the matter with the State Government to have a favourable solution.

Pic Cap: Hon’ble Minister MoC&I (rt) being felicitated by Chairman GJEPC (lft)