Jewellery sector breathes easy

The gems and jewellery sector on Thursday heaved a sigh of as there is duty hike in gold or jewellery in Budget 2013-14.

“We thank the Finance Minister for accepting our demand by not increasing the Customs duty on gold and not levying Excise or any other duty on gold jewellery. We accept the Budget with a positive attitude,” Bombay Bullion Association President Mohit Khamboj said. Gitanjali group Chairman Mehul Choksi said the Finance Minister was very wise in not increasing any duty as any hike would have increased smuggling and other such illegal activities. “At present the duties are at borderline and there is a need to relax much more. However, no hike in duties from the current level will help curb smuggling and help the government in getting direct tax, which is a positive thing,” Choksi added.

Similarly, the All-India Gems & Jewellery Trade Federation Chairman Bachhraj Bamalwa said the industry was very relaxed with the Budget as it has not imposed any fresh import duties.

“We were expecting further restrictions and duty hikes. We are very relaxed as there is no such move. We welcome the move on reducing of duty on pre-forms of precious and semi-precious stones from 10 per cent to 2 per cent,” he said.

However, Gems and Jewellery Export Promotion Council Chairman Vipul Shah said the Budget was below his expectations. “Commerce and Industries Minister Anand Sharma accepted the task group report to make the country an international trading hub for rough diamonds. Some of the recommendations in the report include setting up of a special notified zone for imports and trading of rough diamonds, a 15 per cent duty free re-import quota for import of cut and polished diamonds and reducing the benign taxation rate from 6 per cent to 2.5 per cent, among others,” he said.

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