The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC) of India expects exports to reach about Rs 1.6 lakh crore in this financial year. The body observed that manufacturing has been back to normalcy
Colin Shah, GJEPC Chairman, pointed out that if the current pace of exports continues to be around US$2 to 2.5 million every month, the industry will end the year between US$20 to 21 billion. He said exports have slowly been improving as during September, the total shipment was down 26.45 per cent compared to the same month in 2019. In October, exports narrowed to 19 per cent and in November, the decline was recorded at 3.88 per cent.
“We have been extremely aggressive in the last three to four months during this pandemic times in taking various initiatives, especially on the digital front,” Shah said. “Our virtual buyer seller meets and the India global connects that we have been doing every fortnight. They have really helped in not only connecting the entire trade together, but also in boosting business,” he highlighted. “Several government measures, including the extension of time limit for export credit available on teh gold loan, on interest subvention, extension of moratorium on interest and EMI payments, the real classification of MSME, among others have helped the industry get back on its feet. Shah pointed out that they are already all back to about 90 per cent manufacturing level, and the 10 per cent which hasn’t come back is because of COVID-19 or certain lockdowns that are still prevalent in certain areas of the country.
To boost exports, GJEPC has urged the government to reduce the import duty on cut and polished diamonds to 2.5 per cent from the current 7.5 per cent. It has also demanded the import duty on cut and polished precious and semi-precious gemstones be slashed to 2.5 per cent from 7.5 per cent, and import duty on precious metals like gold, silver and platinum be reduced to four per cent from 12.5 per cent.
Furthermore, the Council demanded the removal of basic customs duty of 0.50 per cent on rough color gemstones, amendment in taxation provisions to enable sale of rough diamonds in Special Notified Zone in Mumbai, extension of the existing scheme for Common Facility Centre (CFC) for five years.